Millennials have been the most documented consumer generation by now, due to their passion for gadgets and social media, and the possibility to research their behavior through complex analytics, both of which have shaped new ways of marketing and selling products. But do the same rules apply to the post-millennial generation?
Even though they seem to share the same expectations regarding connectivity and tech innovation, studies show that Generation Z, also called iGen, Plurals or Homelanders, differs significantly from predecessors. Gen Zers are more ethnically diverse, they have a significant direct buying power and an important influence over their family’s spending but they grew up in a time of recession, which makes them careful spenders, according to this report.
Marketers have already manifested great interest in observing their habits, so I gathered the most relevant data and I paired it with some solutions for a Gen Z- adapted e-commerce strategy.
Meet with Gen Z Standards
Generation Z is made of truly digital natives, who came in contact with touch screens, smart gadgets and fast internet connections from a very young age. They are experienced, cyber-savvy consumers who want relevant online content – they are more likely than previous generations to skip ads or to have adblocking software installed . They also don’t have much tolerance for sloppy technology. Consequently, a high-quality user experience is a must for businesses with an e-commerce component.
Invest in an intuitive, modern website layout, high-quality graphics and photos, readily available and condensed information and a mobile-friendly version of the website if you want to convince youngsters of today that you’re worthy of their time.
Further on, take into account the average of five devices that a teenager comes in contact with every day. One of your youngest customers might spot a product while mobile browsing in the subway and then order it at home using an iPad. These gadgets might have different operating systems. That is why a seamless multi-device experience is essential to make sure that the buying process reaches its final steps.
Build a Sense of Community
Today’s teenagers grew up in times of political and economic turmoil, but also in times of enhanced public awareness regarding many sensitive subjects, when people from around the world started to promote common causes through social media. All these made them acknowledge and appreciate the power of communities.
First of all, customers can communicate through reviews and ratings and online platforms should always emphasize these options. Furthermore, youngsters love to be engaged in every way and expect innovation rather than appreciate it. An engaging brand should create a marketplace apps and explore new ways of interacting with consumers and give consumers the chance to interact with each other through their platforms. This will also help you with location-based marketing.
Social media presence on multiple channels is another way to help young customers make contact with the brand and also to each other, while allowing them to give feedback about services and products. 85% of Gen Z consumers will research product information on social media channels. However, keep in mind that Gen Z favors other platforms than Millennials.
Personalize the Buying Experience
According to a study performed by the National Retail Federation and IBM’s Institute for Business Value, based on 15,000 respondents aged 13-21, Gen Zers prioritize finding things quickly and 60% of them will give up using slow websites and apps.Will a Gen Z make the effort to call or e-mail in order to find out some information?
A virtual assistant or chatbot can easily guide them to instantly find what they are looking for. AI technology is gradually improving and soon chatbots will be able to give complex answers. Not to mention the fact that Harriet Green thinks that cognitive technologies will soon enable a highly personalized in-store experience for clients, allowing each of them to have a virtual assistant every time they go shopping.
With the rise of Big Data technology and complex analytics in mind, many marketers have been profiling consumers. Segmenting the audience is especially useful when it comes such a diverse generation, but why not go even further and make some personalized recommendations? It’s the way Amazon manages to make to make 30% of their sales!
In the words of Duncan Southgate, Global Brand Director, at Kantar Millward Brown, “Gen Z have grown up in an on-demand world of infinite choice”. As a consequence, they developed as experienced, critical customers, who expect smooth experiences especially in the online medium, which is such an important part of their lives.