How to market your brand to a Gen Z Audience

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The social media generation. Seriously, 10 hours a day of online consumption is the norm for those born between 1995-2010. This cohort have a massive spending power of $44 billion in spending power, and this figure is closer to $200 billion once you factor in their very real influence in family spending.

By 2020 will be the largest group of consumers in the market.

Gen Z is the first generation plunged into the online world pretty much from birth, meaning they excel at tuning out excess noise. Online retailers know that those in the Gen Z age bracket have high expectations and won’t part with money for anything beneath these standards..

If you’re an eCommerce merchant trying to direct Generation Z traffic to your store, then you’ll need more than an awesome social media schedule to succeed.

Millennials, their older counterparts, use social media to stay in touch. Whereas, 51% of Generation Z adults want to fill up spare time with entertainment. Their number one priority when purchasing a product is in its aesthetic.

Whether it’s the early morning commute or escaping a particularly tedious lecture through their 4.5” smartphone screen, there’s room here for smart eCommerce stores to connect with digital natives during their idle hours.

Gen Z online platforms

Before we get into the checklist, let’s find out the Gen Z hangout platforms across social media.

Youtube, Instagram and Snapchat are the most popular platforms for Gen Z and the component that links their success with the post-digital generation is their highly visual content. It’s also important to note the frequency at which Gen Z visits social media. 45% of teenagers describe themselves as being almost constantly connected on social media.

#1: The Tunnelling Method

We created this tactic to improve reach for our Shopify clients that need to connect with a Generation Z audience.

The tunnelling method responds to this age groups’ social media usage trends.

This gang have less social media accounts but spend more time (3 hours) than Millennials (2 hours 39 minutes) engaging in social media content.

For many companies, we consolidate their social media efforts. Get rid of any platforms that are not serving a crucial process in the sales funnel.

Begin to really dip into the well of opportunity within platforms. We recently showed our Shopify merchants how to achieve this on Instagram, which is the most popular platform for Generation Zers.

We lunge into each tool and show you through examples the best way of getting through to your audience. Each platform is your stage, no matter how beautiful the production if the staging is sloppy your target market loses interest.

#2 Transparent social responsibility

Also, you’re probably well used to gurus telling you how to “connect” with your market. Content creation is best when orbited around Gen Zers interests and passions. And this generation is a conscious group of consumers.

Knowing your target market’s values and communicating with them about relevant topic builds your Shopify store’s connection . See if you can implement sustainable practices or acts of generosity. Be sure to share these on social media to exhibit your transparent practices to your audience.

It’s important to be authentic here to build loyalty. This crew wasn’t born yesterday. It’s easy for them to scope out whether a brand walks the walk.

They need you to practice what you preach to place their trust in your ethos. Over a third of Gen Z shoppers will switch to a brand that provides increased transparency.

Saying that, make it known how you fulfil your commitment to your store’s conscious goals.

Here’s how to be social about your social responsibility fulfilment

  1. Start the dialogue. Engage with your audience by showcasing your current and future endeavours to be a more conscious online store.
  2. Partner with a charity, or good cause that aligns with your brand’s values. Respond to comments. Even ask for advice.
  3. Empower your audience giving them the podium on which direction your Shopify store should take next.

#3 Brand participation

Your brand’s voice needs to be human and relatable. If you think about the brands that really succeed at connecting with this market, it’s in their unapologetic human voice and inclusive tone and language that piques interest. Starbucks shows us how it’s done by showing how your morning cuppa positively affects others. It’s really brilliant in making the consumer feel appreciated, but also that their purchase is contributing to a fellow young person’s education.

#4 Collaborate with their favourite people: Influencer marketing

It’s a supercharged method of garnering a warm reception to your target market. Piggyback off of the right influencer’s brand, and you can achieve seriously impressive conversions.

74% of Generation Z and Millenials oppose targeted advertising on their social media feeds. They want to find out about your products through a trustworthy recommendation rather than you. Don’t take offence!

So it’s time to give your brand a face, a personality and a lot more trustworthiness.

The crucial point here is not followers but loyalty and engagement. There are a lot of fake influencers or those with low engagement rates.

Our recommendation if you’re new to influencer marketing is to start off with micro-influencers. This category of social media personalities tends to be defined as a follower base of under 10,000.


  • Higher engagement: an influencer trying to entertain 100,000 followers has an average engagement of around 1%. This means that 1,000 people will engage with your product via your new marketing campaign. A micro-influencer with 10,000 followers enjoys an average engagement rate of 6%. There’s more of a community vibe in these smaller circles, so individuals tend to be more vocal and invested. In this case, 600 new leads enter your sales funnel
  • Lower cost: The higher price tag of celebrity-status influencers may not pay off considering what they’re asking.

Top tip for sourcing an influencer: Whether it’s Youtube, IG, Snapchat or Facebook, be sure to scroll through the comments. The more real conversations, and connectivity you observe the more likely it is that real people, and not fake bot accounts, are invested in what your potential influencer has to say.

You’ll also need good communication with your influencer to make the content fresh but also really promote brand awareness.

This brings me nicely on to the next point…

#5 Produce high-quality video content

Hang on, let me get a clapperboard…

Seriously though, the average Gen Z gets through 68 videos per day whether on Youtube, Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat.

Avoid over-advertorial content. Gen Zers are notorious for skimming past unwanted content. Use the power of video to make an impression. And don’t afraid to be quirky!

Video content can:

  • help with SEO (Google loves video content);
  • provide really impressive ROI;
  • be shared easily;
  • Explain your product features.

Capture your brand. Show the attention that goes into your product line.

Make it optimised for mobile. Recently, mobile video viewing topped over the 50 per cent mark.

Keep most of your video content on the short side. Although, it’s good to have variety and to mould content around what keeps your audience hooked.

The initial 10-second window to capture your viewer’s attention cannot be overstated. It’s so easy for your audience to scroll away from your content and onto your competitors. Also, check out this article if you’re looking to optimise your video to a particular platform.

It can be hard to envision what a video that fulfils these criteria look like. Fortunately, here’s a Shopify store that knows exactly how to create a bespoke social media video campaign.

Shwood is an eyewear brand that handcrafts glasses frames. Here a 50-second video that immerses you into their brand.

They’ve created a campaign that makes their audience perceive their brand as extremely high-value, as something that has been crafted and perfected. It removes all doubt that the end slogan “Different by Design” is just a marketing ploy.

Did you notice the impact delivered in the first ten seconds?

They used this time to place the most important message: a passion for high quality by a very human brand.

We’ve got a guide specifically for those Gen Z Snapchatting techniques. The presence of brands on this platform is nowhere near as saturated as the likes of Facebook or Instagram. So it’s fertile ground to develop your store’s brand awareness.

However, I’ll go ahead and say it: things are quickly changing for the Snapchat brand. They are implementing more promotional content, and it’s best for you to establish your Snapchat presence before it’s too crowded to do so.

#6 Physical Stores

57% of these youthful consumers prefer shopping in brick-and-mortar stores, so flagship stores are often a staple to retailers’ sales. Stores are no longer just places for buying your goods, this can be done without much less hassle online.

Gen Z is in the market for is a engaging and entertaining retail spaces.

However, a digital presence is essential so shoppers have the opportunity to prie check, see if a product is in store and, of course, to buy online.

#7 Product personalisation

No longer a nice-to-have, a lack of personalised customer experiences is a deal breaking for Gen Z consumers in committing to a purchase. 32% of Gen Zers in a study said they would leave a said if the store was unable to predict what they needed, wanted or liked.

So how do I implement this knowledge in my Shopify store?

Glad you asked!

Capturing Generation Z can seem like an uphill battle. By 2020, this cohort will make up 40% of consumers and influence $4 billion in spending in discretionary spending in the US alone. If you need a more fit-like-a-glove marketing approach to your Shopify store, head on over to our contacts page for a friendly consultation.