How Your Business Can Cater to Gen Zers


When it comes to running a business successfully, it’s important for you to cater to as many demographics as you can. Whether you’re running a top online Shopify store or offering services as a consultant in a small office downtown, you want clients of many ages, backgrounds, and lifestyles. And lately, you’ve been thinking that you want to cater better to Gen Zers.
This generation, made up of the youngest consumer generation in America, is a bit hard to reach. They’re averse to traditional marketing strategies, and they aren’t as interested in things as they are in experiences. So how do you get them to buy your products and services--and come back for more?

Building your Gen Z customer base is all about catering to them the right way. By understanding what draws them to a business in the first place, and how to keep them engaged, they’ll become loyal customers. And here’s how.

Have a mission--and make it known

If your only mission is to run a successful business, Gen Zers aren’t going to trust you. They were children during and after the 2008 recession, and they already don’t trust businesses enough as it is. And in a world where so much is about image--with people constantly scrolling through apps like Instagram and Facebook--the image of being a business that cares only about money isn’t enough. You can’t post a few pictures on Instagram and have reasonable deals for your products. You need to have a mission.

For example, let’s say you’re an ecommerce fashion retailer. Then your mission should be something along of the lines of “we only use sustainable sources for creating our clothes,” and “we care about our workers, and pay them minimum wage and offer them benefits.” This should appear not only in your about us page, but also in the press that reaches Gen Zers, blog posts that appear in your website, and on your social media accounts.

It’s worth putting in the extra work, considering that Gen Z is expected to reach 2.56 billion by 2020.

Be mobile-friendly

It’s also hugely important to be accessible on mobile phones. However beautiful your business’s website is, you aren’t going to get anywhere if images don’t load on a phone screen, or it’s impossible to read the content on your pages. Especially for Gen Zers, who spent their lives growing up with tablets and phones in their hands, and are now adults using these devices to research the products they’re buying, you can’t assume they’ll check out a desktop version of the site later. They’ll choose a competitor.

Just think about it: 40 percent of Gen Zers said working wifi is more important to them than working bathrooms.

So design your website with mobile in mind. If there are lots of images of products, make them easy to view on a small screen. If there are forms clients have to fill out--for example, to get an estimate of what your services will cost--then avoid having cells autocorrected and have drop-down menus to make things easy. If you’re committed to mobile design, think about making your website mobile-first. This will improve your SEO and will be useful in the future as more people use mobile for company research instead of desktop computers.

Additionally, consider creating an app. For example, if you’re a grocery delivery service, create an app so that customers can quickly order customized groceries with just the tap of a few buttons, instead of having to visit your website and fill out a complicated form.

Have a strong social media presence

For the same reason that Gen Zers spend so much time on their phones, they also spend a lot of time on social media. They grew up with apps like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, and it’s what they use for much of their primary socializing. So it’s no surprise that they’re going to connect to businesses this way, too. If you haven’t already, set up these accounts. Don’t forget to create a social media calendar, and to create business profiles on Instagram and Facebook. Using the right hashtags makes a huge difference, too.

Additionally, engage with your customers. Whenever they comment on something, reply right away, and do it thoughtfully. Having contests run on social media is a great idea, too, and if you want advice on how you can be a better company, ask your customers. Gen Zers love being asked their opinion because too often, they aren’t taken seriously. (Though they should be, considering that they make up 25 percent of the American population.)

These are some of the best ways you can start getting Gen Zers interested in your company. What other strategies do you think would work?