Here we will be talking about the factors that drive the Millennial and Gen Z women to shop online and tips on how you can make them your loyal customers.
We’ll be talking about several statistics and facts all through the article. Yet, the most crucial fact to remember is that these two generations are leading the social changes that their predecessors, the Baby Boomers, avoided. Millennial and Generation Z shoppers together have a shopping power of over $200 billion, and they are the core consumer for the majority of the retailers since this year. So, it makes sense that you have reached this article and are finding the best strategies to get more Millennial and Gen Z ladies to buy from your online store.
Statistics on the Millennials & Gen Z’s Online Shopping Habits
- 61% of Gen Z ladies report that they have trouble taking breaks from technology, while the statement is true for only 49% of Millennial ladies.
- 53% of lady shoppers from both generations chose smartphones as their preferred device for shopping.
- In 2019, 44.7% of total US ecommerce sales was made through M-Commerce platforms.
- 64% of consumers choose or avoid a brand based on its stand on social issues.
- 86% of people believe that companies should take a stand for social issues, and 64% of them say that they would likely purchase a product from a company that did.
What Attracts Millennial & Gen Z in Marketing
Black woman, White Woman, Curvy Woman, Skinny Woman, Every Woman, I repeat Every Woman is special. Whether you are Millennial or Gen Z, you are enough, period. You don’t need things to matter; you need things only because you want them or may like them.
What you saw above is today’s marketing. Emotions, social change, taking a stand, these are the things that matter to the Millennials and Gen Z ladies. If your brand is doing that, your brand is loved by them.
Authenticity & Trust
It may seem that authenticity and brand trust is more a trait of Baby Boomers, but in reality, Millennial and Gen-Zers are also looking for such qualities from their ideal brand. With social media and cameras everywhere, each second of online content is scrutinized. So, instead of showing airbrushed models and larger than life products, they need true statements and authentic proof to back the claim.
Take a Stand
Taking a stand for a cause is about more than just changing your company logo for the Pride month or sending out a compassionate tweet from the company account when there is a gun violence incident.
Gen-Z and Millennial women want well-known companies to take a stand and engage in social causes that they care about. There is a higher chance that ladies will support brands with shared values. Taking a stand is about practicing what you preach, each and every day of the year. It’s about incorporating such values into your business.
Remember that here, the aim isn’t to check off a box on special occasions and just do a mandatory CSR activity. The companies and brands that are actually driving the change and going at great lengths to support various social causes.
For instance, Unilever is on the anti-plastics march, and they have pledged to halve their plastic use within five years. Another fantastic initiative was taken by Aerie for body positivity by banning any photo retouching in its ads.
You can attract more female customers from the Millennial and Gen-Z category by building a community around your values within your brand. By doing so, you’ll make your customers into your micro-brand ambassadors who will go out of their way to support you and introduce their friends and family to your company and what you do.
Back Your Claims with Relevant Actions
Are you doing what you’ve promised to your customers?
If you do choose to support a cause, but don’t have business practices that back your claim, today’s tech-savvy consumers will notice, and you’ll feel the wrath of Millennial and Gen-Z ladies. So, be sure you and your business are ready to walk the walk before you talk the talk on such social issues.
This isn’t just for the social cause that you support but any statement that you make about your company or your product.
There was a case in Canada where Red Bull (the energy drink manufacturer) had to pay $13 Million because a customer dragged them to court because their drink didn’t “give her wings”. She charged them for falsely advertising their product’s benefits.
I’m not making it up; this is an actual case. You may not face such an erratic fate, but still, you shouldn’t make impossible slogans or statements to sell your product. The Millennial and Gen-Z ladies are fierce, and you must be on their good side to run your business successfully.
Make Your Message Worth Their While
There is a wrong perception that people hate sales pitches. People love sales; what they don’t love are overly promotional messages that have nothing useful for them. So, how do you walk the fine line of providing value to your customer in your sales pitch without becoming too pushy?
Shape your marketing, so it focuses on benefiting your users first and then you. You can offer exclusive sales and promotions specially customized for them, or personally reveal the first look of a new product/service, or send a simple birthday wish with 5% discount message.
Doing such kind of a personalized marketing campaign will build loyalty and trust because you are showing that you value your customers and are ready to go the extra mile for them. By getting such personalized messages and offers, your customers will look forward to doing business with you.
Millennial & Gen Z Ladies Brand Engagement
Here comes a difference between the two generations; Millennial & Gen-Z ladies have a different stand when it comes to brand engagement. The differences here are in some points quite subtle while some quite glaring. So, keep your eyes and brains open.
They want to be heard and have the means to do it.
These two generations have seen their parents toil and work hard to build homes, and have seen government and economy screw over innocents. They have grown into rebels and the company that harnesses this spirit of theirs; harnesses their spending habits.
They crave to be heard, and they want to be unique. Here’s a statement made by a 17-year-old Gen-Z school student, “It’s stupid to shop from the mall because then we all end up with the same clothes. What I like to do is go to the smallest stores I can find that no one else knows about and shop there. That way, I have something different to wear at school.”
Fashion was once about blending in and following the trends set by the companies. But now, it is about standing out and using the company’s products in ways that no one else does. Gen-Z is more into creating a unique persona than blindly following fashion norms set by society.
They prefer quality over quantity of products
Gone are the days when “Buy 2 and Get 5” deals attracted customers. For the Gen-Z and Millennial customers, it’s all about quality over quantity. For the ladies of these two generations, it’s better to own two splendid pieces of clothing than ten that are just okay.
And, this preference is not just limited to clothes and apparels. Millennial and Gen-Zers choose quality over quantity for every product they purchase, jewelry, food, electronics, cleaning products, on-demand services, the list goes on.
They want context and relevance
The rate of organic reach on social media platforms has fallen so low that it’s not even considered a viable option to reach your target audience. However big or small a company you are, you have to invest in sponsored and organic content.
Over 50% of Gen Z social media users have purchased items they first saw in a paid social ad; the Millennials are a close second with around 40%. Almost 80% of mobile shoppers from both generations said they expect tailored onscreen experiences that target their location and also recognize their interests and habits.
Millennials would be your target audience right now but remember that the oldest of the Gen Z population is at 22 years of age. It may be tempting to put off acknowledging the consumer power they wield, but you can’t do it for long.
It’s time to introduce some changes to your marketing approach, and I assure you it’s sure to pay off quickly.
How to Stand Out to Millennials and Gen Z
Use emotions to trigger their Buyer Persona
Emotional ads like the ones created by Coca Cola, Uber, Google, and several other companies have done the same over the years. Millennials and Gen-Zers, both recognize the influence of social media; now, you can use their knowledge and trigger an emotional response to sell them your product.
How will you do that? That’s not for me to tell. You know your product and your customers, sit with an expert marketer and figure out your ad campaign that pulls the strings of your customers’ hearts.
They are money-minded
Both the generations don’t prefer to pay full price for any product. This habit they learned from their parents and elders, the Baby Boomers. So, both your target generation ladies are fiscally very pragmatic and practical with their money.
The Millennial and Gen-Z ladies are looking for value in their online purchases.
This purchase value can be achieved in two ways:
- by shopping for products from brands that are new and have low prices.
- by buying more expensive things from popular stores that last longer.
In both cases, they do prefer quality over quantity.
They are also interested in shopping
All the people who used to claim in the past that millennials will not be good consumers and will drive the retail industry into the ground are now are saying the same thing for Generation Z ladies. And, they have been proved wrong both times.
Both generations love shopping, online as well as offline. Here’s where another difference occurs. Millennials love to shop online, while Gen Z love to go to stores just to make stories for their social media profiles. They don’t necessarily buy anything but do Showrooming.
Both the generations are heavy on social media and maintaining a persona online is crucial for them. This need for staying relevant has them buy new stuff to project a richer and successful life online.
Gen Z are more interested in sustainability than the previous generations, the Millennials. Still, they also face constant pressure to buy new items of clothing, given that they are the most photographed generation.
If you find the equilibrium between these two, then you are in the sweet spot of online shopping where you and your clients thrive.
Sell your story, not your product
Selling is not about the product; it’s always about the brand and what story it tells. The present generation is interested in a good story, whether it is an underdog company that beat all the other big shots and became the boss like Apple and Uber or about the company that has been serving the people and helping the world for more than a century like Macy’s and Colgate.
You need to find your story and sell that before you sell your product. Once your brand is established in your user’s heart, you can even sell ice to Eskimos. What I mean to tell is that, once you have established your brand, you can sell anything.
Several of the big companies of today, started by selling something else. Colgate first used to sell soap and candles, Remington one of the oldest firearms manufacturing company was initially famous for its commercial typewriters, Amazon first sold only books, and now it sells everything from A to Z.
There are a dozen more examples of top companies, and probably hundreds of more local businesses that changed their products and were still successful because they focused to build a brand first.
How Millennials & Gen Z Are Shopping with Their Smartphones
Smartphones are the most used device by millennials and Gen-Z women. So, it is obvious that most of the shopping they do is using their smartphones. Developing an app for your business is a costly but very lucrative decision you can make for your company’s growth.
Now it’s time to learn how do the millennial and Gen Z ladies shop online and how you can benefit from their smartphone shopping habits.
40% of the Millennial and Gen Z women consumers turn to their devices for search and discovery of new products. The majority of these customers tap into a brand’s mobile app to discover new products, and 31% look online about the brand before shopping at their physical location.
Almost 50% of all the millennials and Gen Z consumers have shifted their attention from traditional media consumption like television screens and radio to consuming media via mobile-first, in-app channels like Netflix, Spotify, YouTube, etc.
So, you have to be present on these platforms as direct or indirect advertisements for them to notice and get to your online brand.
Showrooming may seem an alien concept, but we’ve all done it at some point in our life. You go to a store and check the product, its make, durability, etc. and then look up its price online right there and choose to buy online because of a sale or discount.
38% of millennials and Gen Zers agree that they use their smartphones to compare prices while in stores.
So your strategy to sell online should be to offer the price lower than the local stores. Amazon is doing the same. They are working to better steer consumers’ in-store choices by providing lower prices just a tap away.
More than 25% of Gen Z and Millennial ladies use their smartphones while shopping in physical stores to ask advice from friends and family members about the products. 22% of those ladies share their selections with family and friends via social platforms.
Deals and Special Offers
54% of mobile users from these two generations said they use their smartphones to find deals and offers from retail brands, both, when they are in the stores and when they’re shopping online.
71% of mobile shoppers from ages 14 to 29 prefer to receive offers that are customized to their location. While 65% of mobile shoppers in the 30 to 35 years (millennial) group said, this approach was a draw.
Whatever their stand may be about personalized marketing, one thing’s true. Almost all mobile users are looking for in-app opportunities to engage. What I would suggest is to go with the highly contextual approach as the Gen Z population has begun to enter the shoppers’ category and each passing year is claiming more of them, and they’re expecting those moments to be highly contextual.
Brands must build their marketing campaigns to serve entirely with those demands.
Now Win the Gen Z and Millennial Shoppers
The Millennial and Gen Z ladies are a very lucrative class of customers if you play your cards right. Make sure to provide them exactly what they need, support them for their causes, and build a strong bond as equals.
These tips can’t be found on any management courses or business guidelines, yet. You have to adapt with time and the new wave of customers. If you are successful in winning them over and riding this wave, you’ll be among the ones that live on for the next generation.
About the Author: this is the guest article Paresh Sagar, Business and Technology journalist, writing on the technicals about IoT, AR, VR, and other smart technologies.
Title image from Icons8 free stock photos library
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