How Generation Z Is Transforming The Shopping Experience

There’s a new generation that’s influencing shopping, Generation Z. These individuals born between 1995 and 2009 are now the ones that businesses and brands need to take into account.

Gen Z’ers grew up in a digital world with interactions both physical and online. Which now influences their shopping experience.

When they go shopping, their interests include receiving the lowest prices and seeing products in-store. They read reviews and listen to friends and family when making a buying decision.

Social media also plays a part in their shopping habits. They consider the number of “likes” that a product or service has prior to making a purchase. Social media also acts as inspiration for Gen Z’ers before they decide what to buy.

A survey conducted by the IBM Institute for Business Value and National Retail Federation (NRF) found that:

  • 49% of Gen Z’ers said that finding the right product quickly was most important when shopping.
  • 68% said that a wide choice of products was the most important factor when picking where to shop.
  • 55% would like the ability to design products that no one else owns
  • 67% prefer shopping in a store, most of the time
  • 48% said social media interaction with a brand is either important or very important

Technology for Gen Z’ers is used to enhance their shopping experience. For instance, when visiting a physical store, they want to be able to visit the brand’s website or another company’s to compare the product they want. Instead of multiple features or numerous gadgets to use, Gen Z’ers like technology “that empowers them and adds direct value.”

Videos and pictures are another features that Gen Z’ers value. YouTube is a significant part of their lives, and they’re using it to find new brands and products. The influencers they follow help them not only make buying decisions but teach them how to do things.

With the information above in mind, here’s how you can optimize your eCommerce website for Generation Z.

When Gen Z individuals visit your website make sure that you offer:

  • An easy-to-use checkout
  • Related product information
  • One-to-one recommendations
  • Ability to check product availability via accurate inventory information
  • Simple delivery, return, exchange and refund processes
  • Real time connections either through AI and chatbots or a store employee

Optimize your website for voice search technology. Think of the “long-tail” keywords, sentences, or phrases that your customers might use to find you. “Long tail” search phrasing refers to searching in a more conversational tone of voice. As people get more familiar with voice search, they are interacting more like they are talking to another person as opposed to a computer.

In 2017, Global Web Index found that 1 in 3 of Gen Zers is using voice commands on mobile. Adding voice search options to your eCommerce site can make it easier for Gen Z’ers to navigate it.

Use a Gen Z’ers website visit as an opportunity to collect data. You can build a picture of who your buyer is through their purchase behavior and history. Be transparent about your data collection with Gen Zers to let them have control of it. This will earn their trust.

Don’t forget about social media either. The IBM and NRF survey listed social media as the key to interacting directly with Gen Zers. “It provides the means for brands to interact directly with Gen Zers through their preferred social channels; leverage the influence of families and friends through likes, shares, and recommendations; and mine data to identify shopping preferences, purchasing trends, and the like.”

Generation Z is changing the shopping experience. While they still value visiting a physical store, they’re turning to digital to influence their shopping experience. Brands and stores need to keep this in mind when creating their eCommerce sites and social media pages.

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