eCommerce

How to sell to gen Z?

How to sell to gen Z?
Table of content

Gen Z people are a whole different market that many businesses are scratching their heads to connect. They don’t seem to respond to traditional working methods, and they certainly don’t want to be considered the same as Millennials or Gen X.

Gen Z shoppers aren't just looking for something to buy; they're looking for something with purpose. They are concerned about where their money is spent, and they employ platforms and technology in interesting ways. 

Needless to say, meeting their needs is critical to your company's survival, as they spend $143B and have a $333B impact on household income yearly.

Understanding your gen Z customers will help you make better decisions when it comes to increasing your profit. Here is how to sell to gen Z - and make a long lasting relationship with these young consumers.

Who is gen Z?

By definition, gen Z (or generation Z) combines those who are born between 1996 and 2009.

While Gen Z shares many characteristics with earlier generations (such as Millennials), they are amplifying change by using social media to advocate for causes they care about. And, if brands want to connect with this generation, they'll have to pay attention to what they value.

What is gen Z like?

Let’s break down the Gen Z by their lifestyle, preferences, and the ways they want to make an impact.

Born in the digital age

Gen Z are digital natives, having grown up with the internet and smartphone technology.

While older generations mock them for being preoccupied with all things digital, they are actually more aware of the impact technology has on their lives than previous generations.

81 percent of Gen Z worry about how much time they spend using technology, according to Voxburner's 2019 United States Youth Trends Report. Smartphone usage is their most common concern, next to screen time and social media usage.

The online and offline worlds are strongly linked, and tools like social media and video platforms are not only amusing gen Z, but also educating, connecting, and empowering them.

This leads us to the emergence of health consciousness, which Gen Z has enthusiastically embraced. As a result, diets like veganism are becoming more popular among Gen Z.

Passionate to make changes

It's no wonder that Gen Z is the most politically involved and ecologically sensitive generation to date, given its diversity. Young activists like Greta Thunberg, who are committed to creating current-day changes in their culture, have inspired this generation.

In fact, 77 percent of Gen Z has taken some type of action for a cause they believe in, with 23% boycotting a business. Gen Z is keen to exclusively purchase with brands that share their personal beliefs now that they have more options for where they can shop.

Each brand Gen Z interacts with is expected to provide a high-quality, easy, and appealing user experience. With the rising use of mobile devices, app experiences are becoming more popular than web-browser experiences.

The generation of influencers

Influencers have radically revolutionized the way Generation Z shops and engages with businesses — and, to be honest, they've changed the way we think about content marketing, customization, and digital marketing strategy.

Influencers use a range of digital channels, including Facebook and TikTok, but Instagram has emerged as the most popular. So much so that 16% of Gen Z chooses to eat at a specific restaurant and 18% chooses to attend an event only for the sake of being 'instagrammable.'

The distinction between influencers and customers is getting increasingly hazy. More companies are spending money on marketing to work with everyone from an online celebrity to a nano- or micro-influencer. However, only 21% of Gen Z consider themselves to be influencers.

How to sell to gen Z?

Selling to gen Z requires connecting with them on a deep emotional level. They are more careful about spending money on a brand because they demand more than just a product. They care about what your brand stands for.

Here are what you can do as a business to successfully sell to gen Z:

01. Don’t just “sell” to them

Gone are the days when a simple "Buy Now!" sales pitch was enough to get people to buy anything. Gen Z has grown up with advertisements constantly bombarding their screens, and they're sick of it.

It's critical to tell your narrative. You must build a relationship with Gen Zers as well as sell to them. Assume you've set up a Shopify website to sell your yoga clothing online. Use your About page to tell the tale of your company's beginnings, goal statement, and maybe a little bit about the people that work for you. 

In this case, the About page is being used to explain the company's mission. It's not just about selling items; it's about helping customers in breaking through barriers on their fitness journey.

02. Create experiences

Gen Z loves to share experiences — and, to be honest, it has become the standard. Blame it on the Instagram craze or the social-media obsessive.

Customers must be there in person to engage in an experience, which is a commodity to be shared. Plus, according to the YMS conference, after opening a brick-and-mortar store, firms saw a 45% increase in online traffic. As a result, it's a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Glossier, for example, has taken advantage of experience-driven traffic by opening pop-up stores in locations all over the world. Their most recent opening was in Miami, and it received a lot of attention both offline and online.

03. Match how they communicate

Skip the television and radio; gen Z no longer watches or listens to them. They're probably glued to their phones or tablets, surfing the web for hours at a time, and that's the ideal way to contact them.

Some methods that you should think of when communicating with them are:

  • Text and chat apps, like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger

  • Social media

  • Phone calls

  • Email, yes, email, with good subject lines

  • And in person

These methods should be your go-to way when communicating with gen Z, especially when it comes to providing customer support.

Keep in mind that it's best to have numerous ways for customers to contact your company; not all customers utilize the same technique, and some may prefer one method over the other, even if it's the least popular or used.

04. Experiment with interactive content

When it comes to attracting Gen Z's attention on social media, studies show that a mix of creativity and interaction works best.

In other words, when younger customers land on your website, they want to do something—tap, swipe, or click.

Anything you can do to promote social interaction and conversation is positive. Consider implementing interactive elements such as polls to discover more about your clients while also capturing their interest.

Instagram features like polls, stickers and sliders can provide that interactive jazz your store needs.

Brands can also easily add share buttons to product pages, blog entries, and other content using a platform like Shopify, allowing for quick cross-posting across social media.

05. Be quick with information

Gen Z are curious, but they are also busy with shifting from one activity to another. Holding them longer than necessary will bore them and make you less important to them. They’ll only pay attention to what they want to and when they want to.

Your goal is to convince them that they need your products in the least amount of time possible, but leave out the more detailed information so you won’t waste their time, and yours.

Balance telling people what they want or need to know with keeping your speech short. The most crucial benefit or factor customers can gain from your product or service, combined with one or two supplemental benefits, is frequently a good place to start.

Instagram story is a great format to practice this, as you only have 15 seconds each story to convey your information quickly.

06. Collaborate with influencers

44% of Gen Z have purchased something influenced by an influencer’s recommendation. According to a SlickText survey, Instagram was the most effective with the most genuine influencers.

Using influencers and micro-influencers in your Gen Z selling plan could be crucial. Find influencers with a similar audience to yours and collaborate with them to develop genuine, honest content that speaks to this generation's needs and desires. Remember to pick influencers that can amplify your brand’s beliefs and values. Be bold on your stances on social issues, but do so in a respectful manner.

07. Bring in humor

This may be a no brainer, but gen Z wants to interact with brands that are fun and cool with sharable content so they can send to friends. That could explain why humor and meme-based social media material are so popular among young people.

The problem for brands is to stay up with the internet's speed. Brands that try to repurpose a months-old meme risk appearing out of touch. Similarly, not every industry benefits from the ability to play the role of a comic.

What matters most is for brands to have their own voice, demonstrating the human side of their social media presence through genuine interactions that aren't all suit-and-tie.

Summary

Gen z are different, and that’s okay, as they are bringing in new trends, your brand can also learn to play along and stay in the loop. When done right, the strategies above help you expand your reach, boost conversion, and increase brand reputation. One important thing to remember: Always prioritize building relationships with your customers. Then no matter their age, you will find success in your selling.

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