Gaining the Loyalty of Gen Z Shoppers

Posted: June 14, 2024
Category: Spotlight on Business

Gen Z consumers are socially conscious and are key in shaping the nation’s perspectives on sustainability, mental health, and racial equity. Representing 20 percent of the U.S. population, children and young adults born between 1997 and 2012 command $360 billion in buying power. As the first generation born after the launch of the Internet, Gen Z is adept at using all facets of technology and prefers to shop and conduct most transactions online.

Centering Life Online

To prepare for the next evolution in shopping, independent retailers must create a seamless online experience that makes it convenient for Gen Z shoppers to interact with the store’s loyalty programs and conduct transactions. The group relies on smartphones, virtual assistants, and wearables to help manage their lives. Unlike older generations who are wary of artificial intelligence (AI), Gen Z views the technology favorably and uses it for social media, content development, editing, and other tasks. This generation of workers is beginning to enter the workforce in significant numbers and will have a lasting impact on the housing market and the home improvement industry.

Marketing Products Effectively

Selling glitz and glam may work for older generations, but this marketing approach is less persuasive with Gen Z consumers. These individuals tend to be skeptical of “canned” messages and prefer to base their opinions on feedback from social media, friends, and personal experiences. Environmentally friendly products and brands that support social causes are beautiful to these shoppers. Here are more ways to connect with Gen Z consumers.

  • Acknowledge their values and identities.
  • Ninety percent will pay more for products that benefit society

Stretching their Dollars

Spending wisely and receiving value for their money are essential considerations for Gen Z since those who are working are in the early stages of their careers. Sharing different ways to get the best deals is a hot topic of conversation among friends on social media and in online communities. Statistics indicate young consumers are twice as likely to buy a product based on referrals from a friend.

  • Offer free shipping
  • Promote discounted products

Creating Meaningful Engagement

While younger consumers can be loyal to specific brands, they are willing to consider other options if the product is less expensive or better quality. Keeping Gen Z engaged can be challenging and requires more than spending money on traditional ad campaigns. They want to feel like they are being seen and heard rather than being talked to in mass. Messaging should be personalized, and retailers should incorporate gaming elements into the promotion.

  • Include app-based interactions on websites and loyalty programs
  • 65 percent of customers have purchased virtual items that only exist within a video game
  • Interactive features let Gen Z shoppers interact, share knowledge, and collaborate

Meeting Evolving Expectations

Gen Z expects an exciting buying experience and is unwilling to settle for less. These consumers are visually and emotionally stimulated by gaming and virtual reality. It’s also essential to offer various payment options besides cash or credit to enable shoppers to make transactions using their preferred method. Consider accepting Venmo, Google Pay, Apple Wallet, and Buy Now Pay Later financing.

Use a Multi-Faceted Approach

Capturing the attention of Gen Z requires a multi-faceted approach since many of their preferences are based on how individuals interact with technology. As digital natives, Gen Z’s view of the world differs from that of earlier generations. These individuals make purchasing decisions through a very personalized lens. The products they buy are in harmony with who they are and the causes that matter to them. Independent retailers should recognize they need to create an online experience that meets the needs of this new generation without alienating existing customers. It’s critical to attract new shoppers, remain competitive, and position the business for long-term growth. Since every generation appreciates an authentic company that supports causes in their local community, expand on these strengths and update your website to incorporate elements that appeal to younger generations.