Winning over Gen Z, the new tide in social commerce


Over the past decades the emergence of a new generation has always been interesting and sometimes intriguing. The millennials have been succeeded by Gen Z – a tech-savvy tribe that thrives on the Digital revolution. Gen Z is the pulse of social commerce, they have strong values and demand social accountability from business and industry.

These are the Digital Natives who have accepted that a world of entertainment and ecommerce cannot exist without virtual platforms.  Regardless of their age and experience, they’re the most sought-after target group owing to their internet habits. Although the research to understand Gen Z attributes is constantly progressing it has been observed that they’re highly influenced by social media, risk-averse, totally switched-on and meticulous in their lifestyle choices. And when a whopping 98% of them own smartphones with an average of 4 hours spent on browsing; there’s no ignoring them.

Getting their attention may not seem like a daunting task but making your PR and marketing strategy work at a click isn’t as easy as you think! Remember, they were  brought up differently and inherited a unique approach toward product preferences and content consumption. So conventional marketing doesn’t help and we have to rethink  our strategies.

Here are some tips that will help you stay abreast of this young demographic: 
Sustainability on point: Be warned, they are a generation on point when it comes to environment, sustainability, and governance; and know the actions to be taken. The demand for eco-friendly products is on the rise and so is the demand for recyclable opportunities. With that said, it’s high time that brands embrace a sustainable approach in their product lines, packages, marketing as well as corporate responsibility to assure them of environmental credentials.
Gamification, let the action begin: An active generation that thrives on ‘clicking, watching, following, and sharing’ must be engaged in the most meaningful manner.
Gamification implies having game-like elements such as points, rewards, and badges in a non-gaming environment. This can make an otherwise mundane shopping experience, more exciting. While they don’t mind revealing their consumer habits and sharing their digital behavior insights, marketers need to recognize their desire to be involved constantly. Engaging games on social media handles can further be leveraged to increase traffic, retention and build brand loyalty for an enhanced experience.

In the realms of AR and VR: There is no question about it that Augmented and Virtual Reality are revolutionizing consumer experiences. By digitally bringing products to life in a virtual space, it’s a thrilling and immersive experience to evaluate your purchase before actually buying it. Being the tech-forward generation, Gen Z is totally game for such experiences and would much rather prefer a simulated real-life shopping experience for assured buying decisions. The potential impact that AR and VR have on brands, as well as consumers, is immense, in-depth, and unparalleled. Brands that can embrace these technologies early on, will manage to create a desirable loyalty amongst Gen Z in a short span.
The reality is that today’s marketers know fully well that Gen Z as a target group cannot be taken lightly or ignored. Fuelled by their digital upbringing they tend to research products and brands carefully before they consider making a purchase. Young as they are they are discerning consumers who expect honesty and authenticity from brands.  Get them on your side and you can expect significant brand loyalty.

Contributed by

Hilmarie Hutchison (MCIPR, MPRCA), CEO, Matrix Public Relations