The millennial generation changed the game for how to market product and services to technologically-savvy and heavily-informed consumers. But, Gen Z will push the envelope even further when they become the largest group of consumers in the world. Don’t look now, but the target year is 2020.
Study: Marketing to Gen Z Requires Even More Engagement
WP Engine, a WordPress digital experience platform, recently conducted an extensive study on the expectations of Gen Z consumers. According to their report, which was recently published in the pages of Ad Age, companies must adapt their approach to a very human, fast, relevant, interactive, and even anticipatory experience.
“Those born after 1996 have been digital natives their whole lives and consequently have far higher and different expectations when it comes to the types of digital experiences they will engage with,” wrote Mary Ellen Dugan, the CMO of WP Engine, in Ad Age.
“We found that reaching Gen Z means businesses of all stripes must embrace the new digital human experience or risk obsolescence.”
No pressure, right?!
To further highlight the importance of adapting to the expectations of the next big consumer group, consider these surprising statistics to guide your efforts to market to Gen Z.
1. Gen Z Already Has Massive Spending Power
Statistic from WP Engine: Gen Z already controls $50 billion in spending power. As more and more of these consumers enter the workforce and gain more disposable income, they will become the largest bloc of consumers in the world by 2020.
What are the keys to get Gen Z to buy your product?
- Mobile-optimized website experience
- Self-serve experience that still feels human
- Payment options beyond traditional credit cards — and even beyond Paypal
One of the best examples to highlight the change is a conversation shift from Paypal to Apple Pay and Venmo.
Venmo is becoming the preferred choice for the next big wave of consumers. Why? There is a social, human element to the service, the service is delivered through their app (not a desktop computer), and you can use Venmo to make purchases in mobile apps. Which leads us to the next statistic…
2. Gen Z Has An Even Shorter Attention Span Than Millennials
Statistic from WP Engine: Millennials have a 12-second attention span. Now, cut that nearly in half — Gen Z is only 7 seconds.
Here’s the bottom line. If your website loads slow on a mobile device — or if you have too much copy or options to navigate — you’re going to be challenged to convert Gen Z to a consumer.
“Because they’ve been digital natives throughout their lives, Gen Z has almost no patience when it comes to slow websites or mobile applications,” wrote Mary Ellen. “They have infinite choice at their fingertips, and they will move on.”
However, it’s not enough to have a fast-loading website with a quick path through the buying journey to convert more sales. The experience also needs to be human-like and highly anticipatory.
3. Gen Z Knows What They Want — And They Expect You to Know What They Want
Statistic from WP Engine: 67 percent of Gen Z’ers believe that websites will know what they’re looking for before they do anything.
Bonus Statistic: 47 percent of Gen Z believe that websites will become more human in experience by exhibiting emotions when they visit and interact with them.
That’s a big ask for businesses to hit the sweet spot of a fast-loading mobile site, an extremely human and interactive experience, and the ability to anticipate exactly what the consumer wants to purchase.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to double your HR budget by hiring a new customer service team or break the bank on AI technology to interact with every customer who visits your website. You just need to take a smart approach.
Consider These Steps to Better Market to Gen Z
1. Clean up your website, especially the mobile version of your website.
- Marketing Refresh solution: optimize images, address slow-loading website pages, and reduce the amount of copy to what is essential while also striking the SEO balance.
2. Map out the complete messaging strategy for your buyers’ journeys.
- Marketing Refresh solution: the buyer’s journey is a roadmap to understand the steps your target audience takes in the buying process. You need to map this out for each of your buying personas to understand how to help them along the journey.
3. Update or create very clear steps on your website that support the buyer’s journey.
- Marketing Refresh solution: Gen Z buyers are making hyper-fast decisions. Therefore, your website needs to make it very clear — through icons, copy, and Calls to Action — how to enter, advance, and complete the buying process. One hiccup along the way will send your target buyer elsewhere.
These three steps are a great starting point to enhance the user experience, create a more human buying process, and help you come alongside Gen Z buyers who are running a very fast race at a very fast pace.
Marketing Refresh is Equipped to Support Your Business
Our agency has worked with numerous clients across multiple industries to better reach their target audience.
We can identify gaps in your connection to buyers, increase the speed and functionality of your website, improve copy and calls to action, identify your customer personas, and create your buyer’s journey.
Consider working with us to better market to Gen Z in anticipation of these consumers taking over in 2020.