Move Over, Millennials: Retailers Start Focusing on Gen Z
For the past few years, many retailers have focused their marketing efforts on millennials, the largest group of consumers since baby boomers. However, Marketo thinks it may be time to start shifting your focus to generation Z.
Generation Z, which includes people born in 1995 or later, accounts for 25.9 percent of the United States' population, contribute $44 billion to the American economy and differ from their predecessors in a few key ways. With more than a quarter of the U.S. population belonging to Generation Z, it's important that retailers familiarize themselves with the segment's behavior and make changes accordingly. Here are three key differences between millennials (Gen Y) and Gen Z:
1. Social media savvy: Similar to millennials, Gen Z connects with their social audience and asks for opinions via social media before purchasing a product. However, not on the platforms marketers are familiar with. According to Marketo, 25 percent of 13-to-17-year-olds left Facebook in 2014. They prefer anonymous media platforms such as Snapchat, Secret and Whisper, as opposed to the millennial or "me" generation, which prefers Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. This means when marketing to Generation Z, your content should be short and sweet.
2. Multiple screens are the norm: Right now, the majority of millennials use two screens to connect and shop. Generation Z more than doubles that total, using an average of five screens per day. Gen Zers are more likely to communicate with images and look for product transparency. Authenticity and offering a tech-savvy experience to this generation is key.
3. DIY culture: Generation Z has grown up with access to crowdsourcing, which has helped shape a do-it-yourself (DIY) culture. As consumers, Gen Zers look for where a product is coming from and how it was made. Retailers such as Etsy are very popular with this group. Brand transparency is important to Generation Z. Retailers should look to mediums such as video to share their brand story.