Whilst some marketers are still understanding how to truly engage with millennials, many retailers have shifted their focus to targeting "Generation Z" – consumers between the ages of 15 to 24. Those within this young demographic are now so highly influenced by social media and smartphones, retailers put a large emphasis on getting into their psyche and delivering instantly-engaging content and creating an experience that really connects with them.
Enchant outlines 5 ways retailers can connect with Generation Z through social media:
Smartphones and devices are now a consumer tool for making purchases, especially for this new generation. They can buy products online in a few clicks of a button, both on brand websites and directly through social media channels – whilst they're keen to use contactless technology to pay in-store with their phones.
As many as 96% of this generation own a smartphone, whilst 63% own a tablet (Source: Shoppercentric). Retailers know super-fast browsing and mobile-obsessed consumer behaviour is indicative of Generation Z, and brands are ramping up their efforts to engage with them via smartphones and mobile devices.
Trust in retail brands
Generation Z has grown up in an age of social media and connectivity. They're naturally savvy with digital platforms, smartphones and devices, which allows them to connect and communicate instantly with the world of always-on marketing, personalities, brands and celebrities.
The mistrust and inquisitive browsing patterns of millennials, who look for value and quality over brand reputation, differs from Generation Z’s trust in brands. Although these digital-savvy browsers demand quality and are happy to browse for deals, they believe in the customer-centric nature of modern brand marketing. According to Shoppercentric’s recent study, just 19% agreed or strongly agreed that retailers don’t think their age group is particularly important, whilst 52% agreed or strongly agreed that retailers and brands understand their age group:
This new generation demands to be excited by brands – especially fashion retailers – but they feel that retailers understand them. This trust is crucial for retail brands and shows that listening to customers really makes a difference. Trendsetting brands are smartly leveraging consumer insights from Generation Z, but they're also utilising the rise of influencers on social media channels.
Shoppercentric's research showed the following social media channel usage of Gen Z:
These figures not only show the younger generation’s love for social media and the use of these channels to access brands and to shop online, but it also reflects the key role of influencers in social media – especially on Instagram, YouTube and Twitter. From personalities giving brands social proof by endorsing them via social channels to YouTube vloggers changing the way consumers make decisions, the influence of influencers is growing.
Whether it’s the aforementioned vlogs on YouTube or live video broadcasting via the likes of Periscope and Facebook Live, video content is snowballing – especially amongst Gen Z. Video is the new selfie and live video is the instant interaction with brands, personalities and other users that this generation crave. The chance for brands to deliver storytelling marketing, how-to tutorials and tips or live broadcasting and exclusive footage is an opportunity to connect with Generation Z – which retailers shouldn't pass up!
Check out the following blog the key reasons for using live video in your marketing activities: Why Live Video is Crucial for Your Social Media Marketing Strategy.
This new generation of consumers demands dynamic and immersive brand experiences. They're excited by tech, social media and are extremely self-aware. Therefore, brands must integrate their marketing channels and make sure they have a key presence on the channels Generation Z are influenced and engaged by. Innovations like VR and Snapchat Spectacles will be utilised increasingly more by savvy retailers.
Generation Z are the future of retail and the most socially-interactive consumers of the digital age, so retail brands need to get up to speed and target them with more innovative, customer-centric and mobile-focused marketing. The times they are a changing – fast!
Enchant is a customer lifecycle marketing agency, dedicated to enabling brands to reach their potential and create impact with customer-centric strategies. If you want to learn more about connecting with your customers with engaging and relevant content, download our free guide to creating Persuasive Digital Marketing Copy and Compelling CTAs now and start making waves!