A business owner must understand how younger generations shop and what catches their attention. It allows you to configure a shopping experience to help you better connect with your customer demographic instead of coming up with a generalised plan for everyone. So let’s discuss some shopping trend differences between Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z, so you can better connect with your customers, gain interest, and drive up profits.
What are the younger generations?
For the sake of this article, we will talk about Millennials (also referred to as Gen Y), Gen X, and Gen Z. According to the Pew Research Center; Millennials were born between 1981 and 1996. Gen X, the generation right before Millennials, spans between 1965 and 1980. Gen Zers were immediately after Millennials between 1997 and 2012.
The vast span of years between the three generations means each has their preferences regarding how they shop and respond, including the techniques that get them to spend their money. You then also have to consider individual preferences within each generation. It is safe to assume online shopping plays a big part in the overall shopping experience in today’s technology-fueled world.
Reaching your demographic
You have probably heard a million times about how essential it is to reach your target demographic and get to know your audience. It is the absolute truth. You must configure your marketing approach to your target demographic rather than generalising for everyone who might walk through the door or reach out to your online store. This marketing approach applies to whether you are selling dresses, books, tops like the Bella+Canvas unisex raw seam crew pullover, plants, or any other items. Do your research and set up a plan if you want to see positive changes so you know how to create a (genuine) selling experience for each demographic.
Gathering research about the younger generations
All three generations usually do online research before making purchases. It is one of the many reasons why offering high-quality products and delivering excellent customer service is so important. But unfortunately, unhappy customers have the power to leave negative reviews, and there are plenty of places they could put them.
Seeing many bad reviews could turn off potential shoppers from buying your merchandise. Your responses to these reviews matter as much, if not more, than the reviews themselves. As tempted as you might be to respond in a non-professional manner, remember that your comments are public. You and the commenter are not the only two who will see them. Keep your professionalism and kindness strong, as challenging as it may seem, and do not remove the review.
Voicing their opinions
Speaking of reading reviews, many Gen Zers, Gen Xers, and Millennials enjoy voicing their opinions online about various topics. Several also like sharing their opinion on multiple purchases. They may always talk publicly about negative or positive shopping experiences. Ensure your brand offers to align with the latter rather than the former.
Brick-and-mortar store vs. online shopping
Online shopping would rule way above in-store shopping, considering the popularity of cell phones. But, as it turns out, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z prefer in-store shopping. Many do not shop online because they do, but quite a few show up at stores to get the items they need. Some see it as an excuse to get out with their friends or family and shop the stores together, while others make it a solo excursion and use it to have alone time.
It is clear that shoppers want authenticity and will not accept anything less. So be genuine when you market your products. User-generated content can benefit from this, and any company can do it. No one, including consumers, wants to feel like they are being lied to by businesses that speak out about how much they value their shoppers. Customers desire trust and expect it (as they should).
Intriguing email marketing and discounts
All generations value email marketing, especially for getting discounts and promos. If you still need to set up outgoing emails to your subscriber list of valued customers, now is the time to get it going regularly.
Talk about upcoming products and give readers an excuse to spend their money with your brand online or in-store. Do more than focus on sales and coupons. For example, if you have a clearance section, mention what products are going into it to draw more attention. The emails should also be exciting and fun to read. Your business shouldn’t be boring, and neither should your emails. It won’t help your brand in the short- or long term.
Discussing social concerns
Although many businesses shy away from discussing their position on social issues, it could be a better idea when trying to connect to your customers. Many of all three generations (Millennials and Gen Zers, more than Gen Xers) want to hear where the businesses they give their money to stand on important issues.
While you want to stand firm and committed to your stance on social issues, it is crucial to do so eloquently, respectfully, and professionally. Some readers may publicly disagree with you, especially if you post on social media. You may also receive private messages and/or emails that will not be as respectful as you were in your message.
Learning about new products
Speaking of social media, another thing Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z have in common is that they often use various platforms to learn about new products. Of course, YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok are the most popular options.
Consider setting up one or more social media accounts you do not already have. You can do some of the platforms at a time. Think about choosing two or three you want to be a part of, but begin with one so you can master it before moving on to another.
Millennials, Gen X, and Gen Z are surprisingly in agreement about many aspects of the shopping experience while being different enough in various ways that brands should pay attention. Taking a more tailored approach and being authentic with what you say and do as a brand matters for sales and your reputation. It can go a long way with shoppers of any generation.