If you are not familiar with the terms Gen Z and Millennials, now’s the time to take notice. These two demographics make up 40% of consumers and perhaps more importantly, being tech native, dominate the digital marketplace. Whether you run a website, market online or promote your business via social media, these are the generations most likely to see your company online. The important thing to remember about these cohorts is that they have their own values, attitudes and behaviours and if you want to attract them, you may need to adopt a different approach.
Who are millennials and Gen-Zers?
Just to give you an idea of who these groups are, millennials are those born between 1981 and 1996 and Generation Z are those born between 1997 and 2011. For most people in these groups, the internet, computers and mobiles have been around all their lives and the digital world is something they feel totally at home in. For them, the online world is just as familiar as the real world. It’s what they use for socialising, entertainment and shopping.
Being tech-native, these two generations expect the brands they shop with to offer them all the convenience that modern technology brings. What’s more, they are much more inclined than other demographics to abandon companies whose websites don’t meet up to their expectations.
What these consumers want are websites that load quickly, are easy to navigate and provide quick, hassle-free checkouts. They will look for other helpful features too: online chat, product filters, personalised recommendations and the same seamless experience regardless of what device they are using.
These are also the age groups that are keenest on using social proof to find out about companies. Before they spend their money with you, they’ll look at your star ratings on social media, Google and Trustpilot. Statistically, more than half of these cohorts won’t shop with a brand with a star rating of less than four. Reviews and ratings are so normal to them, that they are very wary of companies that don’t have any star ratings. They are unlikely to shop with unknown entities. Of course, being avid users of social proof, millennials and Gen-Zers are also more likely to leave reviews.
When it comes to communication, millennials and Gen-Zers are more likely to use a wider range of channels. Besides email, they’ll make use of the variety of different messaging apps available today, such as Messenger, WhatsApp and Snapchat, as well as text messages.
The challenge for websites wanting their messages to be opened and actioned is to communicate the right message via the right channel. Increasingly, these consumers want you to ask for their channel preferences so that you know which types of message are best sent as emails or via another route. They may, for example, want order confirmations sent as emails, special offers sent via WhatsApp and delivery tracking updates sent as text messages.
While this may seem a more complicated way of communicating, getting it right provides a much-improved customer experience and can have a positive effect in terms of increasing revenue and maintaining loyalty. Today, there are a growing number of communications platforms specially designed to help companies cater for these needs.
Social media behaviours
Gen-Zers and millennials are generally active users of social media and this makes it an ideal place to promote your business and advertise your products to them. However, before investing in a social media marketing strategy it is best to do some research to make sure you are reaching the right audience.
Some of the research we have done shows that the top three channels used by millennials are Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, for Gen-Zers the preference is for Snapchat, YouTube and Instagram. While 80% of millennials are on Facebook, only 39% of Gen-Zers have accounts. Worth noting is the amount of video these generations consume on social media each day – millennials watching 2.4 hours and Gen-Zers watching 3.4 hours. It’s a clear indication of the kind of content these groups prefer. Content needs to be engaging, too. The average millennial only has a social media attention span of 12 seconds, for Gen-Zers it’s even less – 8 seconds.
Attitudes and values
While older generations tend to focus on finding the right product at the right price, millennials and Gen-Zers also look for companies with the right values. In particular, they are looking for companies that share the same values that they have. In fact, their influence is such that these values are now permeating across society as a whole.
The main things these groups are looking for are sustainability and equality. Fully aware of how their own actions affect the environment, they are actively seeking eco-friendly brands and green products. Companies that are making efforts to reduce their environmental impact are the ones benefitting most.
In terms of equality, these generations believe in a much more inclusive society and hold a wide range of values, including those that relate to gender, sexuality, diversity and disability. The brands these generations support go beyond sharing beliefs and put those values into practice.
To benefit in the marketplace, websites targeting millennials and Gen-Zers will need to carefully consider the values that their customers hold.
In a world forever shifting, it is important for website owners to understand how consumers’ behaviours, attitudes and values change and how this can impact their business. Aged between 10 and 40, these two generations are going to have a significant impact on the marketplace for decades to come. Hopefully, the information provided here will help you improve your website to better cater for these customers. For more information about our hosting solutions, visit our homepage.