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Connecting with the iGeneration

By Retail Technology | Friday August 18 2017

While retailers are focussing on millennials are they missing out on reaching the increasingly crucial always connected iGeneration? Taptica strategic partnership lead Amit Dar thinks so and reveals how to reach them

Many retailers aren’t keeping up with the new generation of smart shoppers. While brands have been focussed on reaching the digitally savvy millennials, it’s the digitally native users, generation Z, who are driving mobile shopping to new heights. Generation Z, or the iGeneration, are those born after 1994, into a world of mobiles, apps, and social media. They are constantly connected, and live and breathe Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, on the go and are the reason mobile commerce is now growing 200% faster than ecommerce. 

As customers, this means that they offer retail marketers both an incredible opportunity to increase ROI and yet they are more difficult to reach than any other generation. After all, they are already more tech savvy than a lot of brands out there, they often have larger followings on social media and they know when they’re being marketed to. 

At mobile advertising company, Taptica, we have worked with some exciting brands to develop effective mobile campaigns targeting younger demographics and there are a few key learnings any retailer should keep in mind to stay ahead of their competition. 

Be social and shareable across devices  

Retailers cannot underestimate the importance of social and shareability when it comes to this generation. Social media is obviously popular with both millennials and generation Z, but brands looking to increase loyalty need to pinpoint which platforms drive the most interaction and engagement, and prioritise investment in those that do. 

YEAY, a shopping app that allows people to buy and sell the hottest designers and products using video, is a great example of a brand that understands the younger generation. YEAY gets its audience, and knows that mobile isn’t just an additional device for generation Z, it’s their primary device. They shop, sell, share, snap, and socialise, meaning any retailer that isn’t optimising its social campaigns for mobile has already fallen behind competitors. This is how these customers connect with each other, which means the content should also be easily shareable. 

For YEAY, driving video engagement through the app is a key objective, so Facebook and Instagram are the major focus of its mobile campaigns to highlight the interactive and visual nature of the app. These platforms work because of the dynamic features that highlight individual products and allow for tailored targeting and retargeting for both buyers and sellers where they socialise online. 

Be all about the individual 

Research into the dominant personality traits of generation Z has found them likely to be more entrepreneurial than their older siblings and parents. They are self-motivated, promote individuality, and don’t want to be defined as a ‘consumer’ alongside other customers. They demand advertising that is personalised and understands their motivations. They want retailers to know where they are in their path to purchase and to reach them at the right time, on the right device. 

They also understand how to use ad blockers, but don’t necessarily mind when ads are relevant and non-intrusive to their online experience. Retailers targeting customers that know how to block ads must go above and beyond to ensure they produce content that people want to see. This was a key consideration for YEAY, who broke their campaign down into two separate social campaigns for Sellers and Buyers, targeting the different motivations for using the app. 

General brand awareness is important, but YEAY found that with generation Z customers, it was crucial to customise campaigns based on whether the aim was pushing users past the initial signup stage to create product videos, or concentrating on buyers likely to view videos, read product details and follow sellers. When catering to a global audience, personalisation also requires localisation, meaning retailers must integrate local events, trends, and influencers in order to drive ROI amongst users. 

Be as creative as your customers 

Being surrounded by technology has undoubtedly fuelled creativity amongst generation Z and it’s more important than ever that marketing content moves customers to act, not just to recall a brand. Whether they are designers, YouTube stars, app developers, or just your typical university student, this generation want more exciting, creative, and interactive content from their advertisements. They are visually driven and inspired, and marketing content should reflect that. Retailers wanting to build a relationship with younger customers need to make them feel part of the brand’s story. This takes care and creativity, but a loyal customer base drives big returns on investment.

Retailers that take the time to understand the motivations and digital habits of their new customers, particularly those whose first ever paycheque is likely to be spent online, are guaranteed to reap the benefits. 

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