Generation Z consists of people born after 1995. Unlike Millennials and Generation X, Gen Z grew up with the internet as a part of their lives. This large group of youths is tech-savvy and expects instant gratification. Just like generations before them, Gen Z wants their customer experience to be customized to fit their needs.
Amazon.com is the leading retailer for Gen Z. The giant online company offers a wide range of products and services at a cheap cost with quick accessibility. A conglomerate like Amazon can be difficult to compete with for a small business. The trick is to stand out from the crowd.
The biggest mistake a business can make is treating Gen Z like children. Gen Z contains a quarter of America’s population and will make up 40 percent of American consumers soon. Your business may be left behind if Gen Z’s forward steps into a technology-driven world aren’t taken seriously.
When creating or updating your business’ website, make note of the following make or break issues with Gen Z.
Low Costs and High Rewards
Gen Z’s biggest concern while shopping is money. They don’t want to spend high or even average amounts on products they could find cheaper elsewhere.
80 percent of Gen Z valued free shipping, 77 percent valued discounts, and 50 percent valued flexible return policies. — Ernst and Young
Offer discounts on holidays, and participate in Black Friday or Boxing Day sales. Remember to make return policies easy and quick.
Be transparent if your business donates to charities or has a stance on a political issue. Gen Z is all about social awareness, and they want their business transactions to reflect their support. Standing up for human rights will do more for your business than any advertising campaign could. For example, Ben & Jerry’s made their name by opposing Bovine Growth Hormone use in 1989 and later created the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation which offers grants for social justice programs.
Gen Z is also aware businesses use trends in politics to their advantage. The only way to avoid being perceived as a fake is to not fake your stance. Be passionate about a mission to make the world a better place, and Gen Z will support your cause.
On the flip side, Gen Z has been known to leave businesses in droves for supporting matters they do not believe in. Keep up with news, and be sure to press on popular stories in a positive way.
Every business’ website is going to go through updates and changes. Change is a good thing, but too much of it could throw your customers off. A lack of consistency could invite chaos and ruin the business ties you’ve worked hard to create. While creating or changing your website, remember to keep everything simple. You want to make the site easier to use for the consumer. Changing your service hours or transaction process too often could drive business away.
Keeping the website simple cannot be emphasized enough. You want your site to have a good visual appeal coupled with ease of use. The most frequent reason for service catalog failure is poor navigation. Make your site visually appealing while also staying simple and practical. Amazon’s website is the best example for easy navigation. Categories are separated broadly based on use then simplified into more detailed sections.
The best model for navigation is to start in general categories and continue to more detailed criteria. Make sure the customer can find what they’re looking for if they’re new to your site. If your service or products are specialized, look into organizing your site based on the Dewey Decimal System. This classification system is used by many businesses — not just libraries — for ease of navigation.
Stay Streamlined and Quick
Remember, Gen Z grew up with the internet already in their pockets. They’re used to having instant answers and instant rewards. Gen Z has a need to work quickly to keep up with internet trends and social issues.
Your business doesn’t need to struggle to keep up. Gen Z buyers already know what they want, but they want the product now. Your website should be easily accessible online and quick to load on mobile devices. Avoid slow-loading software, videos and unnecessary images. Also, offer quick shipping. Gen Z will pay more for faster shipping options, especially on limited edition items or around the holidays.
Remember That Quality Assurance Means Something
Gen Z grew up in the ages of recession and big business corruption. They want to know where their money is going and if your business is reputable enough to use. Transactions do not include just dollars and cents anymore. Customers release their information to companies every time they complete a transaction, so they want to know your business will keep matters private.
Consider transparency about data collection and call recordings. Train customer service agents to be discreet and professional. Gen Z wants to make sure their information is secure with your business. Going the extra step of providing resources and answering consumer questions can boost sales.
In the world of internet and technology, most businesses are always available for their customers. Using a chatbot or machine can be easy and useful for basic problems. For more unique issues, customers may want to talk to a real representative of your company.
Calling by phone may be the most obvious option, but others are available too. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Skype can be used for building positive customer relationships. Social media allows consumers to reach your business easier and enables agents to reply quickly.
Gen Z grew up in a digital age. They may be the youngest generation, but they’re paving the way to tomorrow. Don’t let your business get left behind. Keep in mind what kind of world we live in today and what the average customer wants from you. Low cost, easy access, positive ethics and high security make up what Gen Z wants from a company. Be willing to adapt to the world they’re bringing in.