In the modern age of consumerism, Gen Z is taking the spotlight and is considered to be the most influential in consumer patterns. People from the Gen Z population are born between 1998 to 2016 and what makes them unique is that they are the first digitally native generation.
Their childhood years are spent with Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp hence it comes as no surprise that they are the experts of social media. They account for 26% of the total global population and that is approximately 2 billion Gen Zers worldwide.
According to a survey by Business Insider, based on the US alone, Gen Zers currently command $143 billion in purchase power. A separate survey by IBM indicated that more than 70% of Gen Zers influence their families’ purchasing decisions on food and household products. They are a unique generation of consumers who use social media to discover everything and they can be quite demanding. They expect personalised and authentic experiences.
A typical Gen Zer customer journey includes:
- Instagram Search – Millennials and baby boomers generally search for a product on Google but Gen Zers usually use Instagram as a source of information for their next purchase. They will look for social proof of the potential product and check the product brand’s account like happy customers or whether any influencers are using that product. If it is a yes, it is time to start shopping.
- Shopping On Instagram – Being able to find the product and stay on Instagram to shop without opening another app or window is a huge plus. When there are enquiries regarding shipping time or refund policy, they can contact the customer service for help. The whole shopping experience from product search to checkout takes place in one app.
- DM (Direct Message) For Enquiries – Without having the need to switch channels, Gen Zers are able to contact the customer service agent regarding their enquiries. They get a positive response within a few minutes and are able to place their order in the quickest time.
- Activate Influencers’ Discount Code – Using what they found on Instagram, Gen Zers can activate the discount code from influencers during checkout and complete the payment in 2 minutes. Hassle free on 1 app, now that definitely makes a great customer experience!
- Communicates And Connects With The Brand – They receive a confirmation email with a tracking number and that is not all. It is even personalised with a message, relating to the previous enquiry. When the order has arrived, they take a photo, share their experience and tag the brand, resulting in free publicity for the brand.
So what are the lesson you can glean from the above customer journey to win Gen Zers as your customers?
1. Be present and active on their preferred channels
This might sound unbelievable but I can guarantee that Gen Zers would have chosen another brand if the brand they contacted was not active on Instagram. According to statistics, Gen Z loves Instagram the most.
More than 64% of them use it on a daily basis and 97% of all Gen Z individuals learn about new products on social media, mainly Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat. They are most likely to follow a brand on Instagram and discover new products via YouTube. Moreover, TikTok has risen and surpassed Instagram recently as Gen Zers’ new preferred platform.
Being on Gen Zers’ preferred platforms is not enough, you also need to interact with them consistently as they desire engagement and customer experience so it is recommended to connect with influencers and engage with followers.
This will greatly boost brand awareness and customer retention. One good tip will be to use Instagram stickers to ask the followers which are their favourite products and/ or any questions that are related to your product or service.
2. Provide omnichannel customer service
If Gen Zers had to open another app or switch to another channel for support on their shopping enquiries, they would have pulled the plug because they love a seamless and smooth customer journey. Information and support should be readily available at their fingertips with a click away.
You not only need to ensure your channels are used to engage and sell but also make sure that they can provide support speedily too. This means Instagram DMs, YouTube comments and TikTok messages.
A winning solution will be to use an omnichannel platform like Rych to consolidate all messages from multiple channels into one central inbox so you have access to everything in a single view. This will not only help provide a seamless customer experience for Gen Zers but also create an easier way for your customer service team to monitor, collaborate and respond to all messages in a timely manner.
3. Ensure fast support and sales
The attention span of Gen Zers is only 8 seconds so it is critically important that response time needs to be fast besides using an omnichannel service platform. Of course it is challenging to achieve this all the time but if Gen Zers had to wait half a day before getting any response, they would turn to your competitors and buy from them instead.
In order to minimise such incidents from happening, you can use automation tools to increase your response time and they include:
- Auto replies – these can be created to respond to customer enquiries even outside business hours
- Quick replies – answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) can be set to respond in one single click
- Chatbots – simple questions like opening hours, shipping status and return policy can be answered easily at all times when the customer service team is overwhelmed or outside business hours
Did you know that the average cart abandonment rate is 69.8% and this could have been easily avoided with some simple tips? They are:
- Asking whether you are allowed to remember their contact information for the next visit
- Providing a “Buy Now, Pay Later” option
- Making it easy at the checkout page to apply discount codes and gift cards etc
4. Keep Gen Zers engaged
Engagement is the core element to brand awareness and customer loyalty. There are 2 practical and effective ways to engage with Gen Zers which are as follows:
- Collect social proof – studies by Gen Z Insights show that 41% of Gen Zers read at least five online reviews before making a purchase so collecting social proof is mandatory if you want to attract them as your customers. They also tend to share twice as much positive feedback so it is a great opportunity to change your reviews too.
- Create customer retention – All businesses love to convert their first time customers into returning customers and you will be surprised to know that Gen Zers feel the same way too. They care about being able to express their thoughts freely, value diversity and are more environmentally conscious so it is not just about how your product benefits them. It is more about your brand story that creates emotional connection between you and them. When you are successful in creating that connection and building the relationship, you got yourself a customer for life.
In summary, it is possible to be present and proactive on multiple channels, engaging with customers from any generation at the same time. With Rych, you can easily manage all messages in one central place and be at the top of your customer service game, generating positive sales turnover for your business.