With $44 billion in purchasing power, there’s no doubt that Gen Z is the retail industry’s next biggest buying group. This younger generation is a boon for business – Gen Z shoppers are comfortable shopping online but also love the convenience of brick and mortar. To benefit from their purchasing power, however, retailers like you need to take actionable steps to engage the younger generation and attract younger customers.
Not sure how? These business tips of the day will help future-proof your retail business.
Where there’s a Gen Z shopper, there’s a smartphone in a pocket. Younger cohorts love their phones. When it comes to in-store retail, they use their smart devices for a variety of actions, including checking reviews, finding discount codes, price checking, and even paying.
When it comes to online shopping, many Gen Zers expect retailers to have custom apps for download, where they can get personalized recommendations, coupon codes, and discounts. At the very least, they expect a mobile-optimized ecommerce website that allows them to shop and pay conveniently on mobile.
Brands that don’t understand mobile trends or take steps to appeal to Gen Z’s love of mobile may be seen as, well, outdated.
Younger generations are virtually blind to ads. It’s fair, considering they’re completely inundated by them everywhere they go – on bus shelters, on TV, on the radio, on every web page they visit.
If you keep advertising your brand the same old way, you’re not going to attract newer, younger audiences. They don’t respond to this type of advertising.
What do they pay attention to? Social media. It’s a good idea to choose a few relevant social media channels to promote your business on, including Facebook, Snapchat, TikTok, and Twitter. Then, share discounts, reviews, event details, and updates. Make sure to take the time to engage with your younger customers, too.
Partner with influencers
Having an Instagram fitness trainer promote your protein shake or athletic clothing brand can make your sales skyrocket. The same is true of having up-and-coming YouTube stars use your new makeup line in their how-to makeup tutorials. (You get bonus points if these influencers are truly brand ambassadors.)
If you’re going to attract a younger audience, you can’t dismiss the powerful effect influencers have on their purchasing decisions. Not only does influencer marketing put your products front and center but it also allows you to build all-important trust with your audience. If the influencer loves what you sell, Gen Zers will be more likely to think that they’ll love it, too (because they already trust the influencer).
Integrity, community, and character count
In the past, you could get away with a lower quality product, a lack of a real brand, and a non-existent story. After all, everyone was after the lowest price.
Younger customers today are attracting to brands that are doing good in the world. That might mean that the company donates a portion of sales to charity. It might mean that the company has a corporate sustainability policy to reduce harm on the planet. It might mean that the products aren’t tested on animals.
The point is the way you do things counts. Your business practices count. And younger shoppers care.
What else matters to this cohort? Well, younger shoppers are looking for a genuine relationship with brands. They want to feel a connection (think: Replying to online comments and complaints , offering personalization, focusing on customer retention). Having an inspiring brand story also helps.
These shoppers are also more likely to support local businesses when possible – and many will even pay more to do so.
Finally, smaller, local businesses gain an edge over the large conglomerates.
Adopt the latest payment tech
Let me tell you this: Gen Z shoppers aren’t going to pay with a cheque. The probably won’t even have cash on them. They expect brands to cater to their preferences by adopting the latest tech, such as emerging digital payment options.
More and more, these shoppers are leaving their wallets at home and opting to pay using e-wallets and digital platforms like Alipay, WeChat Pay, Google Pay, Apple Pay. At the very least, they’re going to get annoyed if they see a “No tap” message taped to your credit card machine.
Meet their payment needs by accepting these alternative payment methods, and you might just gain their loyalty.
Implement some of these business tips of the day, and you’ll be one step closer to attracting a younger audience.