As Gen Z ages into adulthood, they hold more buying power and cannot be ignored. Companies have spent considerable time marketing to millennials, but there is a new generation entering stores with their unique shopping habits and mindsets. Of course, while many retailers will want to continue to attract other generations, it is vital to be aware of the trends that will bring in Gen Z shoppers because they are the future and will continue to grow into a larger market segment. Ready to update your strategies for Gen Z and retail? Here is everything you need to know.
Who Is Gen Z?
Gen Z is the name given to the generation that comes after millennials. As with other generations, discrepancies exist on just where to draw the lines that define the birth years, but Generation Z generally starts with those born in 1995 or 1996 and goes through 2014 or later. While many in this grouping are still children, there are plenty of teens and young adults with buying power, and as this group ages, that will only increase. As of 2020, Gen Z makes up about 40% of all consumers in the country.
This generation grew up with technology in their hands and are extremely comfortable with tech devices and advances. However, they are also incredibly socially conscious and concerned with issues that are meaningful to them. They are a connected generation that values relationships and are often very loyal to the brands that they like. They are usually at ease blending the online and offline world and enjoy immersive experiences. And while they frequently expect to have easy and instant access to information, Gen Z can also be careful and practical with spending habits, as many of them experienced the recession of 2007-2008 during their formative years of childhood.
Where Does Gen Z Shop?
Many marketers and retailers mistakenly think that because Gen Z is so tech-savvy, they prefer online shopping. However, online is not the preferred method for many Gen Z shopping. This generation largely prefers shopping in person and being able to touch and interact with the merchandise. So, manufacturers should focus on in-store displays, experiences and marketing.
However, one unique trait that this generation is known for is called “reverse showrooming.” This means that many Gen Z’ers will conduct online research about products and stores before going in-store to make a purchase. This is the opposite of the habits of other generations that prefer browsing in-store first and making their final purchase later online. This reversal is important for retailers to be aware of, and stores should have seamless integration of online and in-store experiences. Inventory should be quickly and clearly updated online, as Gen Z’ers will often check these numbers to know exactly what they want and where to shop.
Tips for Engaging Gen Z Shoppers
Knowing the habits and preferences of Gen Z shoppers can help you create an effective product display strategy for your consumer goods. Here are some tips you can try to improve your marketing strategies and experiences that will attract Gen Z’ers and keep them loyal to your brand:
- Provide experiences: Much more than previous generations, Gen Z enjoys fully immersive shopping experiences. They want to do more than just look at a product on display — they want to interact with it. Allow for trying products out in-store and help customers visualize these products in their own homes.
- Integrate social media: While Gen Z does prefer shopping in person, they also like to stay connected. Create Instagram-worthy displays and in-store features and encourage shoppers to share their experiences on social media. This generation enjoys promoting and sharing products they love — and you may see a boost from the free advertising! So, get creative and make sure they will not be able to resist snapping pics and sharing your products with friends and followers.
- Change it up often: This generation is drawn to the idea of pop-up shops, and you can tap into this mentality by always keeping your displays fresh and new. Using customized display pieces that are easy to move, assemble and disassemble means you can easily change your store displays to stay updated and fresh.
- Keep inventory updated and visible: Have your current inventory numbers available both online and in-store. Many Gen Z’ers prefer to check out products online first and may even place an order to pick up at the store. You will want to ensure your system updates to current numbers to show what is available. In-store, keep your products clearly organized and easy to find.
- Show off your values: If your company donates to a particular charity or champions a specific cause, show it off! Gen Z loves to connect with businesses that share their values and want to know their shopping habits make a difference. Do not be afraid to display the issues and causes you support proudly.
- Go bold with visuals: For the generation used to scrolling endlessly, bold visuals will attract their attention. Be sure that your logos, graphics and displays feature eye-catching color and design. Draw in your customers with your bold window displays — and keep them updated regularly to stay fresh and relevant.
- Celebrate individuality: Gone are the days of mannequins in only one size and photo advertising featuring the same models repeatedly. Gen Z proudly celebrates diversity and individuality, and you should too. Let your store displays and graphics feature people of all shapes, sizes, races and physical abilities. This will help you connect with more consumers and ensure shoppers of all types feel welcomed by your brand.
Display Solutions From Great Northern Instore
Great Northern Instore has the display solutions you need to promote your products to Gen Z shoppers effectively. Over 60 years of industry experience and knowledge of retail trends and requirements can help get you the perfect product displays for your brand. We have plenty of options, including temporary displays that tap into the pop-up shop style that Gen Z loves and are easy to use and recycle. You can easily change out these displays for different seasons, events or campaigns and still create eye-catching displays that customers will love. Contact us today to get started on your new product displays!