Gen Z: the latest generation that retailers are trying to figure out. Just like any other customer, it takes a bit of work to determine how to develop loyalty between retailer and consumer. So, how can you develop a trustworthy relationship with Gen Z?
From TikTok to Depop, this next-gen of shoppers have redefined what it means to be an online customer. By definition, Gen Z consists of those born after the year 1996 – it’s a fine line between Millennials and Gen Z, but they’re quite different in many aspects.
Technology Is In Their Blood
To begin with, Gen Z are the first generation to be born into an age of smart devices, unlike Millennials who were introduced to them in their pre or mid-teens. With this in mind, it’s important to remember that Gen Z are naturally tech-savvy; they understand how devices work, and keep their phones on them at all times. They spend up to 15 hours consuming digital media a day, so brands must remember that capturing attention via mobile isn’t as easy as it once was. Using apps like TikTok for marketing have become increasingly popular over the last few months, but legacy apps like Instagram and Snpachat still hit the target.
The Environment is a Core Value
It’s no surprise that Gen Z has a core interest in the future of the environment. From inspiring figures like Greta Thunberg and the rise in popularity for second-hand clothing, it’s easier to establish trust with consumers who have a good environmental footprint. From sustainable packaging to ethically-sourced goods, there are a few ways you can capture loyalty from Gen Z shoppers. If your company has fallen behind on the sustainability train, it’s time to add some steam to your strategy and get with the times. A few brands that are making waves in this category include Mecca who encourages recycled plain packaging for online deliveries and Ettitude who sources their silk from bamboo.
They know You’re Tracking Data – Begin Treating Them As People
Gen Z shoppers are savvy enough to know that apps like Instagram and Facebook track data and sell products depending on their personal preferences. With this in mind, it’s important to remember that they don’t like to be treated as an order number; they’re people. A new study shows that 33 per cent of shoppers will ditch a brand due to its lack of personalisation. Whether this means recommending items that are similar to the products that the customer has searched for, provide custom content (much like Pinterest) to the user’s feed, or even just sending them an email when the product they’ve favourited has gone on sale.
Pureplay is On the Out – Embrace Omnichannel
While online is a leading channel for Gen Z shoppers, retailers shouldn’t brush in-store experiences under the rug. Brands that rely too heavily on e-commerce may fall short of their full potential. Nordstrom recently opened a new store called Nordstrom Local that don’t have any merchandise. “Instead, you can grab a coffee or a cocktail, visit a manicure bar or sit down with a stylist. After that conversation, you can then have items delivered to the store based on what you like”, explained Forbes. “This is a company that says most of its new customers still come from their beauty department, which drives traffic to the entire shop.”
The next-gen is not that different to Millennials, but it’s important for retailers to understand that as times change, they have to keep up with what consumers want, and not tell customers what they should want. We’re living in a technological age where one misstep can result in a brand’s downfall so listen to your customers, and you will develop trust and loyalty.
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