If you’re like most eCommerce merchants, you’re always looking for new ways to market your store and attract customers. And if you’re targeting Gen Z shoppers, it’s more important than ever to understand Gen Z marketing trends. This article will share 10 smart strategies to market your Magento store to Gen Z consumers.
Keep reading to learn more!
Table of Contents
- Why is Generation Z Important to Marketers?
- What are the Trends of Gen Z?
- How is Marketing to Millennials and Gen Z Different?
- Gen Z Marketing Strategies
- 3. Be Entertaining
- Magento Marketing
Why is Generation Z Important to Marketers?
With a spending power of over $140 billion, it’s clear why Gen Z is important for marketers. Besides, these young people are very vocal and drive strong awareness campaigns.
They dictate trends, influence beliefs, and uproot traditions.
That means you want them by your side; if not purchasing your products, at least endorsing your values. Still, since you’re a marketer and your main goal is selling, we’ll focus on that point below.
What are the Trends of Gen Z?
Generation Z is defined as people born between 1996 and 2010. This age group wants to count and make a difference. They hate stereotypes, inequality, and falsehood.
That’s why Gen Z appreciates brands that can be honest and focus on the poignant problems affecting today’s world.
Gen Z people are also unafraid to express themselves.
Unlike former generations who were more self-conscious and wary of other people’s opinions, Generation Z is full of creative individuals. Gen Zers were practically born with smartphones in their hands, so they thrive on expressing themselves on social media.
They can even manipulate advertising algorithms to their benefit instead of hiding from them.
A diverse generation, Gen Zers prefer inclusive brands with solid values and deep involvement in the community.
How is Marketing to Millennials and Gen Z Different?
Let’s see how these characteristics influence Gen Z marketing trends:
Gen Z Values Customized Interaction
Gen Zers pride themselves on being more than a cog in the system. They like to perceive themselves as unique individuals who challenge deep-rooted perceptions and institutions.
As such, they want to receive highly personalized messages from the brands they’re choosing.
Unlike older generations, Gen Z doesn’t want to know – or feel – like they’re part of a brand’s demographic. That’s one reason why Gen Zers value user-generated content and influencers’ recommendations more than branded content.
That leads us to the next point:
Generation Z Doesn’t Trust Advertising
Gen Z has the least trust in traditional branded content compared to older generations. While Millennials may tolerate that content as part of the unwritten business “consensus” between companies and customers, Gen Z wants to break all barriers.
Gen Z wants to eliminate everything they perceive as false and useless.
That’s why celebrity endorsements aren’t particularly useful in Gen Z marketing. Many reports show that Gen Zers prefer social influencer ads.
Besides, statistics show that nano-influencers have the highest engagement rates because they can hold 22.2 times more personal conversations about products. Micro-influencers also have higher engagement rates than content creators with larger followings.
They Want to be Part of Product Development
The National Retail Federation emphasizes that Generation Z customers want to:
- Be involved in the creation process
- Want to give feedback to their brands
- Want to discuss potential product improvements with these companies
NRF recognizes that those needs are a significant point of difference compared to Millennials, who prefer less involvement. However, Generation Z-ers don’t seem to accept the traditional business dimension between companies and customers.
That’s not surprising, considering that Gen Zers pride themselves on challenging the establishment.
Remember: This generation wants a seat at the table, so marketing to gen Z entails showing you value their personality.
Gen Z Customers Want to Matter
Gen Z and Millennial shoppers share one essential similarity: they want to change things for the better. However, Gen Z is shown to be more interested in how people affect the planet because 76% care about environmental problems. Another poignant issue that interests Gen Zers is inequality, whether:
Gen Z consumers also want more from their jobs than previous generations. These people don’t simply want to earn a living, working 9-to-5 jobs. In fact, 60% of them want to impact the world.
So, your gen z marketing isn’t working if you don’t understand this need to matter.
Gen Z is Down to Earth
Gen Zers are down-to-earth and hate risks. Unlike Millennials, who have less focus than their predecessors, Gen Zers love to plan.
They inherited that feature from their Gen X parents. Besides, Gen Zers dislike Millennials’ indecision as well. Therefore, they crave stability and have explicit goals regarding their futures.
One primary difference between Millennials and Gen Zers is that Millennials didn’t have clear plans before and after college. Most took a gap year after high school and spent most of their twenties trying to find themselves. By contrast, Gen Zers know precisely who they are and what they want out of life.
Gen Zers Like Brick-And-Mortar Stores
Although Gen Zers are tech-savvy, 57% prefer the in-store experience compared to online shopping. Surprisingly, this percentage is also higher than the Millennials, who prefer brick-and-mortar stores.
There’s a catch.
Gen Zers want to incorporate technology into their in-store shopping. Studies show that over 90% of this generation deem good Wi-Fi connections integral to their shopping experience.
Gen Z Marketing Strategies
How do you attract Gen Z customers? Keep reading below.
1. Create Engaging Content
Creating engaging content entails talking about the things they care about – like social responsibility, justice, sustainability, and mental health – in an authentic and relatable way. You also need to focus on selling your products or services without becoming too pushy.
Remember that Gen Z marketing trends include authenticity and engagement.
Here’s an excellent example:
This ad doesn’t just showcase the barely-there nude underwear; it’s a statement that Parade values inclusivity and body positivity. The ad also shows its extensive array of products that can cater to every unique personality.
Parade takes it a step further.
The brand has always endorsed these values, positioning itself as an LGBTQ+, inclusivity, and body-positivity advocate.
2. Give them Value
When it comes to marketing to Gen Z, RELEVANCE is critical. This generation grew up with the internet at their fingertips; they know when they’re being marketed to, and they aren’t afraid to call it out.
So, how do you create a marketing campaign that is both valuable and relevant to this young demographic?
First, you need to understand what your audience wants. What topics are they most passionate about? What sort of content do they consume daily?
Once you understand who your target audience is, you can start creating content that speaks to them directly. Tutorials, infographics, and listicles are all great formats for engagingly delivering valuable information.
Marketing to Gen Z entails ensuring that your message is relevant to your audience, or you risk being tuned out completely.
Mogo.ca is an excellent example. The brand uses Carter Sullivan, a Gen-Z representative that discusses a poignant issue for Gen-Z:
Like we said before, Gen Zers are highly risk-averse and crave stability. The app satisfies those needs but doesn’t push its messages toward its audience.
Instead, it uses the balanced, poised, and expert voice of Carter Sullivan, who had some financial issues herself. However, she took charge, did the necessary research, and empowered herself to improve her conditions.
That message is powerful because Gen Zers watching it identify themselves with those traits.
As a result, they’re more tempted to purchase the app because Carter Sullivan is so credible and charismatic.
3. Be Entertaining
The next generation is tough to please. They’re used to being entertained 24/7, whether through social media, streaming services, or video games.
So if you want to reach Gen Z, you need to be willing to put on a show.
That’s why TikToks, Instagram Stories, and Reels have become so popular with them. They allow users to quickly consume bite-sized content that’s entertaining and often humorous. And because Gen Z is always connected, they can easily share this content with their friends.
As a result, these short-form video platforms have become essential for reaching this notoriously tricky demographic. So if you want to connect with Gen Z, start thinking of ways to be more entertaining. It’s the only way to get their attention.
Washington Post illustrates that idea faultlessly (even if it’s not a Magento eCommerce brand). Here’s why we chose to use them as a telling example:
Even though they’re one of the most reputable, trustworthy, and thorough publications, they can also be entertaining. Their TikTok is filled with humorous clips that somehow seem to capture the essence of important news worldwide.
So if they can do it, so can you. Just remember that respecting the delivery date is essential to keep your audience engaged.
4. Build a Community
There’s no denying that Gen Z is a force to be reckoned with. This generation is known for being engaged, aware, and socially conscious. And they’re not afraid to use their collective power to make a change. Therefore, Gen Z marketing needs to build a community that shares its values.
Of course, that’s easier said than done.
After all, Gen Z is a challenging group to please.
But if you can create a community that feels like home for them, they’ll be sure to flock to your brand. So how do you go about building such a community? In a nutshell:
- Create content that engages and resonates with them
- Be authentic and transparent
- Provide opportunities for collaboration and connection
Alternatively, you can leverage the power of an already-built online community. For instance, Rina is a vocal nano-influencer supporting young women with alopecia. As someone with alopecia herself, she understands the emotional struggles associated with hair loss.
Speaking honestly about these issues is very empowering for other young women going through the same thing.
That’s why her audience listens when Rina recommends a specific hair topper.
Notice how her posts are not at all pushy or spammy. In fact, these toppers empower Rina to become her best self.
Some captions are shorter (“I feel like I was born to be a long-haired brunette…”), while others are longer, telling Rina’s backstory. Although the hair toppers she recommends are just in the background, they play some essential roles:
- Empowering Rina
- Helping her find her true self
- Defining her personality
- Seizing her dreams
5. Use Visual Content
Visual content is the backbone of any social media strategy today, especially when it comes to targeting Gen Z. In a world where we are bombarded with an endless scroll of content, it’s the images and explainer videos that stop us in our tracks and make us hit that “like” button.
Gen Z marketing statistics show that members of this generation are visual creatures:
So if you want to grab their attention and get them to stick around, you need to start creating killer visual content. Here are a few Gen Z marketing insights to do that:
- Use bright colors and bold designs: Gen Zers are attracted to eye-catching visuals that stand out from the rest. Think about using bright colors and bold patterns in your imagery to capture their attention.
- Be authentic: This generation can spot inauthenticity from a mile away, so it’s important that your visual content feels genuine and authentic. Use real people in your shots, and avoid heavily edited or staged photos. Keep it real!
- Go for impact: When it comes to video content, shorter is better – think 15-30 seconds to get your message across. Long-form clips are practical, too, if you need to explain a matter in-depth (like Carter Sullivan for Mogo.ca). However, it’s essential to get your point across within the first few seconds, even with these longer videos.
Partnering with respectable young medical community members, the skincare brand puts itself in the background, letting the experts talk.
Besides, CeraVe uses a neat edit order to segment different arguments that prove its products work. As such, CeraVe leverages Gen Z’s need for authenticity, control, and expertise.
6. Go for Interactive Content
If you want to attract the attention of Gen Z, you need to make sure your content is interactive. This generation has grown up with constant stimulation, and they’re used to getting what they want right away.
If your content does not immediately engage them, they’ll move on to something else.
That’s why it’s essential to use techniques like quizzes, polls, and surveys to get them involved. You can hold their short attention span long enough to deliver your message by using interactive content.
Besides, interactive content pushes toward purchase decisions and helps recreate the in-store experience.
For example, you can feature quizzes on your website to help Gen Z audiences identify the right products for their needs. That strategy leverages three key Gen Z traits:
- The need for interactivity
- Avoiding risk (e.g., not purchasing the correct product and experiencing buyer’s remorse)
Maybelline can show you how it’s done with its virtual makeover tour and other quizzes on its front page. Adding these elements to your Magento website can turn it into a genuine Gen Z website.
7. Leverage FOMO
Scarcity and marketing have a strong connection. Gen Zers are also more risk-averse than other generations.
These are two reasons why FOMO can persuade them better than almost any other strategy.
Besides, this generation is used to being bombarded with constant messages and notifications, so if you want to stand out, you need to create a sense of urgency.
One way to do this is by using Instagram Drops.
Drops are a new feature on Instagram that allows brands to release limited-edition products only available for a short period. This creates a sense of FOMO among users, who are more likely to purchase the product before it sells out. Drops are an effective way to reach Gen Z because they combine the power of social media with the allure of limited-edition products.
So if you’re looking to tap into this lucrative market, make sure you use Drops to your advantage.
8. Reply to them Timely
Gen Zers want to feel like they matter. So, it’s best to reply to their messages quickly, showing you value their opinions.
The good news is that there are some simple ways to make sure you’re always responsive.
For example, you can set up an automated message system that will send a response as soon as someone contacts you. Or, you can create a chatbot that can handle basic questions and requests.
By taking these steps, you’ll be able to keep Gen Z engaged and ensure that they always have a positive experience when they interact with your brand.
9. Get them Involved
There are several ways how you can get Gen Zers involved. Remember, this generation wants to feel included; they want to make a difference, and they want to see brands valuing them as unique individuals, not demographic segments.
Use Brand Stories
One of the best marketing tips to reach Gen Z is through brand stories. In a world where social media is king, consumers are bombarded with hundreds of ads daily. Businesses need to tell compelling stories that engage and resonate with their audience to stand out.
A well-crafted brand story can help to humanize a company, build emotional connections, and create a sense of community. It can also be a potent tool for driving sales and engagement.
Ask for Feedback
It’s essential to ask for feedback when connecting to Gen Z for a few reasons:
- They’re the most connected generation and have a wealth of knowledge at their fingertips.
- They’re used to being engaged with brands and companies and expect two-way communication.
- They’re quick to call out inauthenticity and appreciate honesty.
Asking for feedback is a sign of respect and shows that you value their opinion. It also creates a connection between you and them, which is essential when building trust. Gen Z is a mighty force, and understanding how to connect with them is crucial for your Magento store.
Help them Matter
Help Gen Zers make a difference, whether you want to connect with them in the long-term or spike up short-term purchases. Here are two examples:
- Long-term connection: Tell them that purchasing your products will support values they believe in (e.g., inclusivity, diversity, environmental issues, etc.). Change your communications and adapt your business environment to support those claims.
- Short-term spike in purchases: Instead of offering reward points, organize contests that offer non-monetary incentives that:
- Impact the world (e.g., donating a sum from each purchase to impoverished communities or a particular movement).
- Acknowledge the winner’s abilities (e.g., a photo contest wherein people use your products, but the winner’s creation gets featured in a prominent place)
10. Use Influencers and UGC
Gen Z is the most challenging generation to advertise to because they don’t trust traditional marketing. They are incredibly savvy in social media and can spot inauthentic content from a mile away.
The best way to reach Gen Z is through influencer marketing, as they are much more likely to trust product reviews from people who are experts in their fields.
Influencers can provide honest reviews and recommendations that will resonate with Gen Zers. Furthermore, influencers can help connect your brand with Gen Zers on a personal level, which is essential for building long-term relationships.
Then there’s UGC:
User-generated content, or UGC, is one of the most powerful marketing tools available for Magento users, especially when it comes to connecting with Gen Z because:
- UGC is highly relatable. It’s authentic and honest, which Gen Z values highly.
- UGC is very shareable. It’s easy to post and share on social media, and it has the potential to reach a broad audience.
Bonus (for your eCommerce store): UGC is affordable.
Brands don’t have to spend a lot of money to produce it, making it an excellent option for small businesses or startups.
Remember: You don’t have to look for expensive New York influencers, though that’s an option. Take this example:
Shaina is a fitness trainer who advocates healthy living, plant healing, and empowering women. Her videos are filled with tips and tricks, so Shaina has built her reputation in the fitness industry.
That’s why fitness apparel brands like Fleo work with Shaina to advertise their products:
Using the same model, you can leverage user-generated content to your advantage. Regular people can specifically recommend your brand without any sponsored partnership.
Alternatively, you can create contests that mobilize and motivate Gen Zers to get involved.
FIGS is an eCommerce brand retailing medical wear that takes marketing for Gen Z to the next level. The company helps Gen Z medical professionals challenge the traditional paradigm:
Young medical professionals don’t have to work 36hour shifts, and they don’t have to wear uncomfortable itchy scrubs. FIGS uses these regular people’s voices to advocate for these issues, but also to advertise their brand.
Even more interestingly, the brand prides itself on not using influencers but regular people called “Awesome Humans.” That very powerful name triggers Gen Zers’ need for uniqueness and for mattering.
Besides, FIGS showcases an Impact Report on their front page, detailing how the company gave back to the community during the previous year. So, medical professionals wearing FIGS can leave an even more significant impact on the world (although their profession is already ranking pretty high in the impact category).
And they have a 15% discount for students (aka the Z generation):
As such, FIGS offers the outline of a perfect Gen Z website.
Magento marketing for Gen Z takes into account this generation’s strict particularities. These young people crave technology as well as in-person interaction. They are risk-averse, but also not afraid to challenge the status quo.
Gen Z and marketing define a world of beautiful contrasts, so include the tactics we discussed above in your marketing strategy.
That way, you will funnel better-quality leads to your Magento store.
David Morneau is the co-founder and CEO of inBeat Agency that helps brands scale their marketing efforts. He has helped over 200 DTC brands to date.