Whether they’re called Generation Z, Zoomers, the iGeneration, Centennials or Post-Millennials, the next generation, commonly known as Gen Z, is now reaching adulthood. The oldest, born in 1997, turns 26 this year – old enough to rent cars without surcharges, be off their parents’ health insurance plans and ascend the career ladder.
Gen Z already has significant spending power, with $360 billion in disposable income. But they’re not always ready to part with that income. Because they grew up in turbulent economic times, they tend to be savers, not spenders. Unlike millennials, who tend to spend what they have, Gen Z will set limits for how much they will spend, then stick to their limits. Brands must prove their worth to convert Gen Z shoppers to buyers and adapt to reach them.
With the average Gen Z-er spending four hours or more a day on social media, there’s a significant opportunity for brands to meet Gen Z in its preferred environment. But Gen Z, which effortlessly flicks from social media to streaming to shopping, expects its online experience to be flawless. Clunky or out-of-place advertising can put brands at a disadvantage.For brands aiming to get in Gen Z’s good graces and earn a piece of the generation’s $360 billion in spending cash, creating a seamless online experience is critical. Ad tech platforms, like SitePlug, do just that, helping brands create frictionless shopping experiences to convert shoppers at the moments they’re most likely to buy.
- By providing technology that corrects typos to bring users to the site they intended to search for.
- By noting user intent and recommending a brand’s link before the user hits the search page.
- By using coupons, deals and offers to interact with users at key points during their shopping experience.
With AI technology and behavioral analytics, platforms like SitePlug help advertisers stand out by offering shoppers exactly what they’re looking for, exactly when they need it. These performance advertising platforms plug leaks at the bottom of sales funnels, shortening the purchase journey for users who know what they want to buy — and keeping them from getting picked off by competitor ads.
These platforms help brands create a shopping experience that meets Gen Z’s expectations of a fluid online experience and aligns with their preferences to buy from helpful brands. For search marketers, that means boosting incremental sales from a generation primed to buy. Interested in more ways to win wallet share with Gen Z? This blog provides insight into Gen Z’s characteristics, how marketers and brands can alter their strategies to capture Gen Z’s attention, and how to leverage technology to win their purchasing decisions.
How Gen Z Differs From Previous Generations
It’s not just how much they’re willing to spend that makes Gen Z different. It’s also about their distinct values and priorities that have been shaped by their experience and the world around them.
- Technology: Gen Z is the first generation to have grown up surrounded by technology, particularly social media and mobile devices, that have shaped their communication style, relationships and overall worldview.
- Diversity and inclusivity: Gen Z is the most ethnically diverse generation yet, with a greater emphasis on inclusivity and representation. They are more likely to embrace a broader spectrum of identities.
- Global awareness: Gen Z is more socially responsible, outspoken, globally aware and connected to global issues like climate change, poverty and inequality than previous generations.
How Marketers Can Adapt to Reach Gen Z
Gen Z consumes content differently. Reaching Gen Z shoppers requires a different approach, as they consume content at a faster pace than any previous generation.
Here are 6 tips for digital marketers to reach Generation Z shoppers:
Prioritize quality: Brand loyalty looks different for Gen Z. Instead of making repeat purchases, more than 50% of Gen Z-ers with a favorite brand say they would switch brands if another offered higher quality or lower cost.Brands relying on the same customer retention strategies they use for Gen X or millennials may have difficulty retaining Gen Z customers. Focusing on quality and value — product and brand transparency, prompt delivery, fast response times, and consistent brand messages that meet Gen Z values — is more likely to get Gen Z to make repeat purchases.
Be authentic: Gen Z values brands that “take a stand” about global and social issues. Digital marketers should focus on creating genuine, relatable content that connects to Gen Z values and appeals to their sense of social responsibility.
Use social media: Gen Z spends a lot of time on social media, so digital marketers should prioritize their social media presence. Use platforms like Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat to engage with Gen Z shoppers and build brand awareness.
Emphasize visual content: As Gen Z has grown up in a world that bombards them with information, they have shorter attention spans, making video content an effective way to grab their attention. In fact, 70% of Gen Z-ers say visual content helps them make buying decisions.
Focus on mobile: Gen Z uses their mobile devices for almost everything, so digital marketers should prioritize mobile-friendly experiences, including mobile-optimized websites, mobile apps and SMS marketing. Adding easily accessible “shop now” buttons to those websites and apps helps brands win high-intent shoppers with a quick and easy shopping experience when they’re most likely to buy.
Leverage influencers: Gen Z trusts influencers and social media personalities more than traditional advertising. Nearly one-third of Gen Z-ers rely on influencers to help them find new products – no surprise, given their affinity for social media.
Overall, digital marketers need to understand Gen Z’s values, interests and behaviors to effectively reach, engage and connect with them.
Leveraging Technology to Win Gen Z Shoppers
The good news: Gen Z has significant spending power. But, as Gen Z shoppers are careful about their spending and adamant about the brands they spend their money on, they make brands work for it. For those who want to get (and stay!) in front of Gen Z-ers and tap into new revenue streams, it is important to leverage modern tech solutions.
Part of maximizing this leverage is tailoring ad content to connect with Gen Z. A 2022 study showed that 81% of Gen Z said they like personalized ads — a significant increase over millennials (57%) and baby boomers (43%). For Gen Z, personalization means connection. For advertisers, connections mean conversions.
Investing in premium ad placements can help advertisers meet their target audience by giving them what they want, where they want it. By meeting high-intent shoppers on their preferred websites or social media platforms and offering ads that align with users’ purchasing goals, brands can build engagement, strengthen trust and increase visibility — ultimately leading to more conversions.
Every touch point leading to a transaction is an opportunity to capture interest and shorten the path to purchase. Reaching Gen Z requires a new, non-traditional approach to advertising.
If you’re ready for an innovative approach to connect with and convert shoppers, contact us today.