How to win Gen Z as your next e-commerce customer
Slide on baby boomers, here comes Generation Z. 💥
In a little over a decade, Generation Z will account for 33% of all consumers worldwide presenting vast opportunities for your business. At this very moment, Gen Z already makes up 30% of the global population.
To top it off, Gen Z has a whopping 150 billion dollar spending power right now. Would be a waste not to win them over as your customer, right?
Before we get things started, let's get to know each other first. Because Gen Z might be influenceable, but there is one thing they are not and that's easily convinced.
Meet Gen Z
With more than 68 million Gen Zers in the U.S. alone, Generation Z is well represented. While the definitive years are still to be agreed upon, it's generally accepted that Gen Z is born somewhere between 1998 and 2016. Feeling old yet?
Now, it's time to get to know Gen Z as your next customer.
Generation Z as your customer
Growing up with Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter makes it no surprise that Gen Zers are the masters of social media. They are the first digitally native generation. They use mediums like Instagram to build influence and discover everything.
If you’re reading this and you don’t belong to Gen Z —I’m sorry to say— but you are a lot less savvy online shopper. Gen Z knows exactly where to look on social media to find those new cool sneakers. But here’s the catch: they are quite demanding. They want unique and authentic experiences. Gen Z will not buy everything that’s under the sun.
“I will ‘reward’ brands… I’ll buy more from that company, tell my friends about them and suggest products from their website.” - Female, 20, U.S. Source: OC&C
You have to convince them of your brand. I mean, there are a million brands out there to choose from: why yours?
“Brands need to work more to retain their customers (since our choices have really gotten pretty limitless) – I would like it if they increased their offerings and make it easier to find things that you’re looking for.” - Female, 20, U.S. Source: OC&C
The ideal customer journey of Emily
Meet Emily, a 22-year-old girl with 3K followers on Instagram. She works in a vegan restaurant, loves to shop at Pull & Bear, eats vegan and gluten-free, and goes to her local gym three times a week. Nothing special, but very Gen Z-like.
She's invited to join the Spring wedding of her best friend Julia next week. She is looking for the perfect dress to stand out at the wedding and on Instagram.
Let's take a look at the ideal customer journey of Emily.
1. Let me Instagram that
Where millennials and baby boomers usually start their journey by typing "dress for Spring wedding" in Google, Emily starts her journey on social media. She searches Instagram, remembering some pictures of influencers wearing amazing dresses.
When she has found a potential winner, she clicks on the tag in the picture and switches to the brand's account. She needs more social proof and clicks to see all tagged photos. Are these customers happy with their purchases? And are some other influencers wearing this brand? If that's a yes, it's time to start shopping.
2. Start shopping in the app
Emily clicks on "visit shop" in the Instagram account of the brand. This way, she doesn't need to switch to another app, but she can stay on Instagram. She has found the dress she was looking for and adds it to her shopping basket.
As soon as Emily wants to check out, she notices the shipping takes 5-8 days. And that's risky. She really needs it a day before the wedding, on Saturday. It's time to contact customer service.
3. Send an Instagram DM for help
Good thing that the customer service team is available on Instagram as well. Again awesome, no need to switch channels. Emily asks the customer service agent if it's possible to receive the dress within 6 days with a personal note about the wedding. Within a few minutes, she got a positive response. Cool! Time to place an order.
4. Use my influencers' discount code
Emily goes back to her shopping basket, straight to the check-out. She adds the discount code she got from the influencer's account to her payment details. That's a nice 10% off. She fills in her name and address and chooses to pay later. This way, Emily finishes her order in 2 minutes. Fast and easy. And on just one app.
5. Connect with the brand
The brand didn't forget about Emily. Emily receives an email with a track and trace code. But that's not all. The email includes a personal message: "Hi Emily. Thanks for your order. We hope you'll steal the show at next week's wedding. Hope to see you again soon!"
When the dress has arrived, she makes a picture, mentions her experience, and tags the brand in an Instagram post. 1348 likes! I'm 100% sure there will soon be another "Emily" buying this dress.
How to win Gen Z as your next customer
There are several things you can learn from Emily that will help you win Gen Z customers.
Be active on their favorite channels
This may sound harsh, but I can guarantee that Emily would have chosen another brand if the brand of her dress wasn't active on Instagram. Being active on your customer's favorite channels is the only way to make sure you're not missing out. 20% of Gen Zers use social media as a source of inspiration for their last purchase. So basically this means you have to follow the latest trends and try every new social feature you can find.
According to an Animoto survey, Gen Z is most active on YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat. They are most likely to follow a brand on Instagram and discover new products via YouTube. But keep your eyes on TikTok as well, as TikTok recently surpassed Instagram as U.S. teens’ preferred social platform.
However, your presence on these channels is not enough. You need to seek interaction: connect with influencers, and engage with followers. This is not only useful for brand awareness, but also for customer retention.
Tip: You can use Instagram stickers to ask your followers which products they like or any other questions that involve your product or service.
Offer multi channel customer service
If Emily had to switch to another channel for support, she might have pulled the plug. Gen Z wants their customer journey to go as smoothly as possible. Information should be at their fingertips and support just one click away.
So, instead of only using your channels to engage and sell, make sure you're ready to offer support as well. This means Instagram DM's, YouTube comments, and TikTok messages.
Tip: You can use a multichannel platform to receive messages from all channels in one inbox. This makes it easier for your customer service team to monitor all incoming messages and collaborate as a team.
Deliver fast support and fast sales
Next to offering multi-channel service, you also have to speed up your response time. The attention span of a Gen Zer is just eight seconds. Of course, no one expects your customer service team to respond that quickly. But if Emily had to wait half a day before receiving an answer, she might have bought the dress somewhere else.
You can use automation tools to increase your response time. Here are a few of my favorite options:
- Use auto replies to respond to your customer, even outside of business hours
- Answer frequently asked questions with quick replies in just one click
- Help your customers by answering simple questions about opening hours, return policy, or delivery status with a chatbot
Did you know we lose about 69.8% of our customers at the checkout phase? Here are some ways to speed up the checkout process:
- Ask if you're allowed to remember contact details for a next visit
- Insert the possibility to order now, pay later
- Make it easy to add discount codes, use gift cards etcetera
Engage with generation Z
Engagement is everything. The personal message Emily received did not only make her a returning customer, but it also resulted in more brand awareness. Here are two ways you can engage with Gen Z:
1. Collect social proof
41% of Gen Zers read at least five online reviews before making a purchase. So, collecting social proof is a must if you would like to attract Gen Z as a customer. They tend to share twice as much positive feedback than negative, so there's a change in building your number of reviews as well.
2. Build customer retention
You're not the only one who would like to turn a one-time customer into a returning one. Gen Z feels the exact same way. See, it's not about the product. They want to know your story, bond with your brand, and then come back. If you invest in building a customer relationship, you got yourself a customer for life. And they are our youngest generation.
Are you ready for the next generation?
Winning over Gen Z customers ain't no picnic. If you want Emily to come back and bring some friends, you'll have to invest in creating a good customer relationship. Be present, proactive, fast, and inviting.
Don't worry. You don't have to do it alone. With a customer service platform, such as Trengo, you can easily monitor messages from all channels, deliver fast support, and create amazing customer experiences. Are you looking for the perfect customer service platform? Download the guide: how to choose your customer service platform in 10 steps.