If you’re a traditional retailer, you may struggle with how to reach Gen Z. Although Gen Z consumers are often called “Post-Millennials,” there are many key differences between Gen Z consumers and the generations that came before them. To understand how to best market to Generation Z, you must first realize a key differentiator for Generation Z customers is that they grew up with technology. This is opposed to members of other generations who came upon tech later in life. Most members of Gen Z don’t remember a time before iPads, for instance, or a time before smartphones and social media. In this second series of a three part series, explore how to keep the attention of Gen Z. Missed part one? Explore it here!
Gen Z consumers have a different reaction to brands, marketing, and tech than Millennials and Baby-Boomers. As result, you have to think differently about how to generate loyalty with Gen Z-ers…and find new ways to capture their attention. So, how can you successfully market your retail store to Gen Z customers? Read on to find out!
Profiling the Gen Z Consumer
Unlike millennials, Generation Z customers don’t always want to wait around for a brand to tell a story. Instead, Gen Z consumers are driven by personalization. In a recent study by NRF, 65 percent of Gen Z respondents said tailored loyalty rewards programs influenced where they chose to shop, while 59 percent said it was important to them that a retailer “remember” their birthday. Since Generation Z customers place such a high value on individuation, you need to make your company’s unique style and brand voice easy-to-identify both online and in-store. As Forbes puts it, “Instead of asking themselves how to sell to these customers, brands should try and become ‘friends’ with those new generations of consumers, participate in their lives through relevant channels and speak their language.”
What Omnichannel Really Means
It is a well-known fact that the Generation Z customer’s shopping journey includes tech. The challenge for many brands, however, is how to create a brand experience on mobile that can seamlessly transition into their online and in-store experience. Make no mistake about it – mobile is the channel of choice for Gen Z consumers: NRF reports that 73 percent of Gen Z consumers use their mobile phones to communicate with brands and family on social media, 59 percent use their phones to look up the availability of items they want, and 47 percent of Gen Z-ers use their phones for product research when shopping in-store. To sell to these tech-savvy customers, you need to start an ongoing dialogue about your products, your industry, and what they want to see from your brand. How do you do this? It’s easier than you think.
Begin with Transparency
Day and night, Generation Z customers are being marketed to on a wide variety of different channels – social media banner ads, emails, billboards, text message marketing, and more – as a result, Gen Z is ad-weary. Instead of wasting your resources on advertising initiatives that will only irritate young customers, focus on creating transparency in the following areas:
- Gen Z customers want to know how much you paid for a product, how much you marked it up and where their money is going once they make a purchase. If this sounds like an exhausting amount of detail…it is, but providing as much pricing information as possible will help to differentiate your brand.
- What ingredients are being used in the manufacturing of your products?
- Where were your products made?
- Is your in-store staff paid and treated fairly?
Beyond this exhaustive list of details, Gen Z consumers also want to see your product in action both in-store and on social media. Forbes reports, “What [Gen Z]really cares about is the experience and actual human feelings associated with the consumption of the product. The more personal and special this interaction gets, the more loyalty and excitement the customer will show.”
Show Your Inventory at Work
Generation Z consumers want to see your products in action. To give them what they want, create a few short videos that show how your products are used. Choose high-energy brand advocates to demo the products that will capture Gen Z-ers’ attention in 8 seconds or less. This is a great opportunity to show young consumers your brand’s unique personality, as well as to demonstrate why they can’t live without your company’s products. If your company specializes in apparel, consider showing off how your product moves in your promo videos, or focus on conveying the personality of your brand. By putting your company and your products out there on social media, you’ll make it easy for the right Gen Z consumers to “discover” your products – and develop a lasting relationship with your business.
Tying it all Together
Like it or not, Gen Z customers want transparency and accessibility from their favorite brands. This means that you, as a retailer, need to get transparent in order to gain loyalty from these demanding customers. By creating dynamic, attention-getting videos on social media and sharing everything you can about your business practices (and the happy people who work for your company), you will be able attract and retain the attention of Gen Z consumers…and ultimately increase profits for your retail business.
Did you miss part one of this Loyalty Among Customers series from ASD Market Week? Check it out here!
Take advantage of ASD Market Week’s 90+ free retail strategy sessions this July 29-August 1, 2018 in Las Vegas.
By Nicole Leinbach Reyhle, RetailMinded.com