First of all, this customer group is made up of digital natives.
They grew up with PCs, Mobile Phones, internet and have been familiar with social networks since the very beginning. They never got to know the old and inflexible websites, which nowadays give every web designer goose bumps. Instead, they expect and are used to smooth and flawless user interfaces - and a good user experience is already the norm for them.
Moreover, this generation is often referred to as Generation Google, because Google was and is their first stop to the internet. This results in two things: First, Google remains their first source for everything - and second, their behavior has changed. Instead of memorizing, they have learned how to find information - anything, anywhere and anytime. And this is also due to the development of search engines and their ongoing development. The earlier Generations got familiar with keywords-based search queries, anything else simply didn’t work at that time, while this Generation more and more searches for semantic phrases and full sentences.
From a behavioural point of view, the attention span of Gen Z is quite short, caused by constant notifications and a constant flood of information. Their attention span is 8 seconds, while that of previous generations is 12 seconds. So you only have eight seconds to introduce your brand.
How is sales and marketing affected by this Generation?
In their spare time, Gen Z can be found mainly on YouTube or social media, where Snapchat is currently the most used platform. It seems obvious that you should therefore advertise on these platforms. But be careful, this generation uses AdBlockers more often than others, about 52% of them use a tool to block ads on websites. Another way is to use influencer marketing on the different platforms, but this sounds more simple than it actually is. The decisive factor is who you choose to advertise your product: 70% say they trust statements from YouTubers rather than traditional celebrities. Interesting about influencer campaigns is that for every dollar spent in a campaign the average sales revenue was $6,50 in the US in 2019. That is a quite high return of invest in comparison to other indirect marketing activities.
A lot has also changed socially. Earlier generations had THE computer that was used by the entire household. Making phone calls and surfing the Internet at the same time often led to family disputes. But in recent years this has changed - we are surrounded by devices that are continuously connected to the Internet - just like Generation Z. They are on the Internet and are constantly changing devices, from tablet to mobile phone, from mobile phone to PC. Tracking these changes, harnessing the information and bringing together the different user profiles requires an Omnichannel sales strategy combined with the right tools.
What do I need to consider in my shopping experience then?
Analytics is still the most important factor, analyzing customer behavior reveals gaps in the shopping experience that should be closed with new development. Unfortunately, this only gives you a look into the past, retrospective views.
Therefore, make arrangements online and offline to try new things and collect feedback so that you are able to perform A/B tests and other trials.
There are also a few general measures you can consider now, especially in the online environment. Prepare yourself for constant change - adding a microservice architecture layer between your front- and backend allows you to connect your platform to any other system.
With this you are prepared to handle a new platform that might appear in the future, independent from frontend, just by connecting the right dots. There might also be platforms without classic frontends like we know them now. If customers want to buy via voice only in future, better be prepared.
As soon as the user is on this path and finds the right product, it’s more likely that they will convert. This is how you can prepare for Generation Z, let’s see what challenges there will be with generation Alpha.
If you want to learn more about how a clever on-site search can be used to increase your conversion rate, download our free whitepaper 'Search & Merch'.