How Brands Can Adapt to GenZ’s New Shopping Habits

GenZ accounts for around one-third of the global population, and represents a considerable amount of spending power. But this digitally native and demanding generation also represents an entirely new type of consumer. And if you want to be a GenZer’s go to brand, you need to adapt to a whole new list of shopping habits.

So who exactly are we talking about? Generally speaking, the GenZ time frame spans from the mid 1990s to the early 2010s. Those born between this time are seen as better educated, have higher expectations, and are more committed to positive change than the generations before. And of course, they grew up immersed in digital and mobile technologies.

What are the buying habits of Gen Z?

When it comes to shopping habits, GenZers look for an authentic, omnichannel brand experience. They want to feel part of a community with shared values, and base purchase decisions on product quality over price. 

To give you a better idea of what consumerism looks like in the GenZ era:

  • 85% use social media to learn about brands and products
  • 58% are willing to pay more for products targeted to their individual personalities
  • 68% expect brands to contribute to society
  • 78% choose to spend money on experiences versus buying something tangible
  • 66% say that, when considering a purchase, product quality matters most

We’ve picked out these particular stats as they lay the foundation for an eCommerce strategy designed with this profitable target market in mind. 

How to Connect With the GenZ Consumer

Collect and Share Engaging UGC

This is a content hungry generation. It’s also the TikTok generation, making user generated short form video its content of choice. If you want to engage this audience, authentic UGC is the way to go, and video reviews are the perfect source. 

With Leading expertise in innovation and growth, Ashley Burgess from Digital NRG highlights encourages brands to be as authentic as they can when targeting Gen Z.

“Authenticity needs to be at the heart of your Gen Z content marketing campaigns. They consume more content on a daily basis than any previous generation and are extremely savvy when it comes to seeing through the fluff that old school marketing campaigns are known for. To truly engage with younger generations, you need to cut straight to the point and deliver content that promotes real people, living real lives in an unfiltered world.”

Ashley Burgess, Senior PPC Executive @ DNRG

They’re easy to collect with our Video First feature, and are ideal for sharing across all your social channels – exactly where Genzers go for brand and product discovery. They also capitalise on the experience as a commodity trend. Remember that statistic?

  • 78% choose to spend money on experiences versus buying something tangible

A video review doesn’t sell a tangible product – it sells a visible product experience. The viewer can see how an item could enhance their life, and that’s exactly the kind of thing GenZers buy into. 

Give Them More Context on Product Quality

We know GenZ values quality, but proving quality takes more than a host of 5* reviews. It’s a good place to start, but you need to address the complexities of what quality means to the individual. We all have different needs, and if a product doesn’t meet them, then it’s not a quality item. 

Address this by using review attributes – data points on customers and/or products that add more insightful detail. Haircare brand Denman gives us a great example of this. As part of its review requests, it asks customers to state their hair type, hair length, and hair goal. Shoppers can then filter reviews based on attributes similar to their own, and better determine if a particular brush meets their needs. In short, it gives them context on quality. 

Create a Community Through Loyalty

GenZers want to feel a connection with brands and be part of a community. Essentially, they want to belong to something, and one way to create that sense of belonging is through a loyalty programme. It’s something this generation is very familiar with, and has come to expect. 

Reward points, referrals, discounts – however you choose to do it, it creates a deeper bond between brand and consumer, and a sense that they’re part of a branded community of people with shared values, and shared experiences. 

Make it Personal

With fields of expertise in personalisation, Fresh Relevance’s research into customer loyalty shows that almost 1 in 3 Gen Z consumers want retailers to make it easy to discover more products they might like. So personalising the customer experience for this generation of shoppers is key. For example, use the shopper’s past browse and purchase history to display product recommendations that you know will resonate with them, such as items that were bought by similar customers.

“First-party customer data – such as actions a customer takes across your website – is the backbone of any good personalisation strategy, as it helps you to tailor the experience for each individual.”

Arthur Rakovskis – Partnerships Manager, Fresh Relevance 

Review attributes can be especially valuable here, particularly if you include attributes. This gives you first party data that you can feed into an email marketing platform like Klaviyo for intelligent segmentation. 

Show a Commitment to Positive Change

Finally, if you want to connect with GenZ, you have to become part of the movement for change. This is a generation that wants to repair the damage done by its predecessors – and that’s a commitment that informs its purchase decisions. 

Brands that focus on sustainability across the entire product lifecycle (and are transparent about it) are far more likely to succeed in the GenZ era. If you want to go the extra mile, use our integration with Greenspark and see a positive impact for every review submitted – be it planting trees, removing plastic from our oceans, or offsetting carbon emissions. 

Build The Tech Stack You Need for a GenZ Strategy

From Review Attributes to Video First, you’ll find plenty of innovative features to start building an effective GenZ strategy as a customer. You’ll also find a perfect partner to our review solution in our loyalty platform – Together, these give you plenty of scope for collecting and sharing content, enhancing the customer experience, and engaging your GenZ audience. 

Written by (Author: Josh Sanders)

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