“That’s lit, fam!” Have you heard of this and felt lost because you did not understand what that means? Well, that is Gen Z slang for you! Gen Z babies are born between 1995 and 2010/15, meaning that they would be between 6 and 25 years old today. They are what is known as Digital Natives, as in they have been exposed to the internet, social networks, and mobile systems since their early childhood. Gen Zs consist of the biggest demographic in most countries. In fact, in India, there are 472 million of them, making them the largest demographic in the world.
The Gen Z children tend to look for ways to integrate their virtual and offline experiences. There are 4 core values that can characterize this young generation. Firstly, they strongly believe in individual expressions and avoid labels (e.g., male/female, straight/gay). They also do not hesitate to rally to fight for causes they strongly believe in. They strongly believe that dialogues and open communication are the most efficient ways to solve conflicts. Lastly, they make decisions and relate to institutions in a highly critical and practical way. This generation’s quest for authenticity results in greater freedom of expression and more openness to understanding and appreciating various kinds of people.
The question is not whether Gen Z will have an impact on the retail market, it is when. The demographic of Gen Z may be young, but coupled with the Millennials (1980-1994), they play a key role in the industry’s future. These two generations are not only the most digitally engaged demographic of consumers, but they also expect brands and products to identify and signify their personal values. Therefore, the retailers and brands who try to understand the demands and inclinations of Gen Z will be the ones preparing for potentially significant triumphs and sales.
With all these changes in perspective and mindset of this new and upcoming generation, it is a given that businesses must rethink their marketing and selling strategies to fit the new customer base.
6 Ways that Retail Marketers Should Engage Gen Z:
- Marketing Messages Must Be Swift & Simple: Gen Zs tend to be easily distracted, what with their usage of multiple screens on multiple devices. To capture their interest, marketing messages must be swift and simplified, preferably with more visuals than texts.
- Make them feel Important: Since this generation likes to participate in the rally for causes, marketing content must capture the young shoppers’ attention to inspire them to partake in a cause and act, to make them feel like they are part of something significant.
- Walk the Talk: Brands must now look at practicing what they preach when they address marketing issues and work ethics. Words like sustainable, fair-trade, farm-to-table, CSR, and organic can connect a Gen Z customer with a brand because it reflects on their concern with a brand’s global effect.
- Listen to Them: To make them feel heard, involve the Gen Z youth in your product development and creation process. This generation enjoys being asked to share their feedback and product improvement suggestions. Plus, Gen Z’s love conversation. You could develop chatbots and interactive websites where the young shopper can engage in two-way conversations to learn about your brand or product.
- Be Authentic: To engage with Gen Z shoppers and to retain their attention, you must also be authentic. Feature real people and stories in your campaigns rather than perfect-looking celebrities who seem to lead perfect and unrelatable lives. This will help build a brand that is down-to-earth and relevant.
- Use Multichannel Approaches: Try multichannel approaches to reach your young customers as they enjoy personalized shopping experiences and are naturally tech-savvy. In fact, research has shown that nearly 60% of customers research for product information and prices while in stores, 65% conduct product research online BEFORE going to the store, and 55% prefer to visit stores and then make their purchase online.
The Gen Z youth give the biggest emphasis on individuality, authenticity, and ethical concerns. Being the largest demographic with the most influence on the older generations, it can be understood that Gen Z customers hold the key to any business’s success. Therefore, companies must see fit to evolve their strategies to cater to this market. As Gen Z youth would say, “Stay woke to pass the vibe check!” To know how Aiplex can help you with a tailor-made campaign for Gen Z, contact us.