Scoot your boot, Gen. Y. There’s a new influential shopping demographic: Generation Z.

Currently, the oldest Gen. Z consumers are 21 years old. While you probably don’t have to adjust your marketing plans any time soon for the youngest of this demographic–2012 is the cutoff–it might be wise to develop a marketing strategy for the oldest of the bunch.

That’s because, according to an American Express report, Gen. Z already contributes tens of billions of dollars to the American economy.

Although the automatic assumption is that a vast majority of Gen. Z’s purchase activity is online, a study referenced in the AmEx report claims nearly three-quarters of this youngest consumer demographic shops in brick-and-mortar stores.

If you’re able to attract these young consumers to your shop, you may have loyal customers for the next several decades.

But doing so requires different focus and strategies than marketing to baby boomers, Generation X, and even millennials.

You might be wondering what the difference is between millennials and Gen. Z. Here’s the difference: the oldest people who are officially millennials are approaching 40 years old.

This means that older millennials were not born into the wireless revolution, whereas even the oldest Gen. Z segment were, pardon the hyperbole, born with a smart phone glued to their ear.

Peer Influence

And before buying from your store, Gen. Z wants to know if their peers also purchased from you. Although feedback from Yelp and other review sites are written by customers of all ages, Gen. Z has been raised on social/sharing platforms. Thus, they are more than merely accustomed to customer reviews, they rely heavily upon them for pre-purchase decision making.

If you don’t have dozens of customer reviews on your website or social media profiles, think of ways to incentivize getting more of them. Offer a 15% coupon in exchange for a customer signing up for your email newsletter or rewards program.

Young, Savvy, Impatient Consumers

Is one of your competitors currently offering a promotion but you’re not? If so, chances are high that a Gen. Z consumer will know about it. Don’t confuse this demo with the slackers of Generation X. On the contrary, many teens and young adults of today are highly-motivated, conscientious consumers.

One false, seemingly-innocuous move, and you can lose a Gen. Z customer for life. For example, even if you don’t sell anything online, if you don’t have your website optimized for smartphones, it’s possible that a Gen. Z’er will move on to your competitor’s website.

Spend a few minutes yourself and see how your website looks and functions on mobile. Is it easy to navigate? Are the pictures and/or videos quick to load? Are your social media icons conspicuous? Is the viewing and social sharing functionality completely streamlined? If not, Gen. Z consumers will have little or no patience and may take their business elsewhere.

Thus, even if you’re the only game in town in your area, it makes sense to optimize for mobile. Gen. Z consumers are more likely to research your store and products online before walking through your doors.

Shopping For More Than Products

Generation Z consumers may become loyal followers and customers of your shop for years to come. But more than likely, that will occur if you’re able to make their buying experience more than just the transaction.

For example, does your business contribute to charitable organizations? If so, make it prominently known that you do. Many Gen. Z consumers care passionately about social welfare and activism. If a Gen. Z consumer knows that you are doing good works in the community, they will get behind your brand and tell their friends and peers about it on social media. Make sure you have a YouTube channel that not only includes product and store videos but also has clips of your philanthropic mission.

If you don’t have your website optimized for mobile and social sharing, it’s not too late. The youngest of Generation Z is only 6 years old. But in a blink of an eye, those 6 year olds will be conscientious consumers.

Want to know how a point of sale system can help with your marketing? Contact us today to learn more.

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