Harnessing the Spending Power of Gen Z
Millennials have garnered plenty of headlines since surpassing baby boomers as the nation’s largest living generation. Still though, they’re not the only show in town. While meeting the needs of millennials is a big priority, don’t forget to divert some attention toward a different generation — Gen Z.
Born between the mid-1990s and mid-2000s, it’s easy to see why Gen Zers are sometimes referred to as “the internet generation.” Seventy-four percent of Gen Zers spend free time online, with three out of four choosing smartphones to browse different sites. Given how often Gen Zers are online, there’s a good chance they’re spending at least some of that time shopping.
Leveraging the spending power of Gen Z consumers requires taking a closer look at this generation’s preferences as well as the technological innovations that will help gain its attention. Whether it’s modifying an online presence or tweaking a mobile app, meeting the shopping needs of Gen Zers can help keep competition at bay.
Since Gen Zers tend to favor mobile, it’s important to provide these on-the-go customers with the same level of customer service experienced while browsing a desktop site. Nearly one in four consumers abandon mobile apps after just one use. Speed is a big reason why. A poor user experience can not only limit purchases, but also push users toward competitors that meet their needs more efficiently.
In addition to sorting out navigation issues that could drive business elsewhere, consider implementing push notifications and in-app messages. Simply sending push notifications can increase app retention rates by 20 percent. Retailers should craft relevant notifications for target audiences to help cultivate a mobile shopping experience that will keep customers coming back for more.
Gen Z might be one of the most socially connected generations. From Facebook to Instagram, and even Snapchat, retailers can leverage social media to help engage Gen Z shoppers and ultimately drive online and in-store traffic. A recent study found that social media can influence the shopping behavior of more than 80 percent of Gen Zers.
Retailers hoping to ramp up a social media strategy should think about creating an editorial calendar. Instead of sporadically posting to each social media channel, an editorial calendar enables retailers to develop a better understanding of content mixes while also making it easier to spot opportunities for additional posts moving forward. Measuring a wide range of factors, including followers, retweets and engagement percentage, is yet another way to see if any improvements can be made to a social media strategy.
Format Your Forms
The shorter an online checkout form, the better. Lengthy or complicated forms cause nearly four out of 10 cart abandonments. Help speed up the process by allowing customers to save shipping or payment information following their first purchase. Since many mobile users are out and about, spending five or 10 minutes filling out the same information for each purchase isn’t the best experience. Offering the ability to plug in personal information can reduce the hassle that comes with long checkout forms and build an enticing user experience along the way.
Gen Zers have the potential to make a big impact on retailers’ bottom lines. In fact, this generation boasts more than $40 billion in buying power. With more intuitive checkout forms as well as an improved mobile shopping experience and social media strategy, retailers can position themselves as a go-to destination for Gen Z shoppers.
Chris Francis is vice president of market development at Worldpay US, a provider of secure payment services for small and large businesses.
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