New Gen Z Sales Trends You Need to Know About

Generation Z is quickly becoming the biggest generation of consumers and by 2020 will account for 40% of consumer shopping and approximately $29 billion to $143 billion in direct spending. This generation, which follows the millennials, is defined by anyone born between the mid-1990s and the early 2000s, right in the middle of a technology boom.

Born with immediate access to smartphones, social media, online shopping and other convenient technology on a daily basis, this group is unique and requires a little more insight on the retailers’ part before attempting to sell. While we’ve already covered Gen X and Millennial sales trends, let’s see what type of consumers Gen Z are growing up to be.

Shopping Online Or In-Store? Gen Z Wants Both

Gen Z is reliant on technology but prefer purchasing at brick-and-mortar stores, according to a study by IBM and the National Retail Federation. How do these go together? Gen Z uses technology to thoroughly research and review items before purchasing them in-store later. Convenience is a huge selling factor for Gen Z consumers. Apps or websites that are confusing or slow to load will deter this generational powerhouse, and the closer the physical stores, the better.

Gen Z Values Impact of Their Purchasing

Members of Gen Z care about the environment and their impact on the world, with 45% choosing brands that are eco-friendly and socially responsible. They value intuitive technology, new and authentic experiences, diversity, practicability, problem-solving, individuality, convenience and product quality. Keep that in mind as you’re choosing which aspects of your product or service to emphasize. Always choose the features that can speak to those values.

Finding New Brands by Word-of-Mouth Or Social Media

As true “digital natives,” 74% of Gen Z spend 5 hours or more per day online, and 45% typically use social media to discover new brands and products – primarily on Instagram. But they also greatly rely on recommendations and opinions from friends, before and after purchasing. They prefer realistic portrayals of life in marketing and advertising and are wary of being “wooed” to purchase products. Instead, make it a two-way conversation about a quality product or service.

Selling To Gen Z

In selling products to Gen Z, you must first care about what they care about and understand how they’re purchasing and how they find new brands and products. Then, your strategy needs to incorporate to these approaches.

  1. Know the differences between Gen Z and Millennials: Gen Z and Millennials are similar in that they both value technology/online, digital products and social media. They also appreciate anything that makes life easier, including grocery delivery services, the choice to expedite processes, or an app to manage their many accounts. But how are they different? Privacy is said to be a little more important to Gen Z, with more caution placed on their online reputation. They are a bit more traditional in that they prioritize financial security. Personal success is driven by their competitive aspirations and need for stability, which will lead to climbing ladders and owning businesses.
  2. Integrate marketing and sales teams for omni-channel approach: Gen Zers expect to be able to seamlessly transition from one business channel to the next, and they expect it to be personalized and consistent. To make this happen, marketing and sales must be integrated to coordinate approaches that’ll reach Gen Z across multiple channels, maintaining consistent content for perceived product reliability and easy navigation for the consumer.
  3. Focus on sales enablement in the context of the Gen Z experience: Sales enablement is providing the sales team with the information and tools they can easily use throughout the sales cycle and into the buying process. This could mean the implementation of new technology, such as artificial intelligence, which can simulate sales scenarios. In this way, sales teams can develop better skills and become more effective. The use of AI can also help the sales team personalize the Gen Z consumer experience – something this generation greatly values.
  4. Implement social selling: Social selling is a way of leveraging your company’s social network to find the right prospects, build relationships and reach sales goals. Social selling helps companies connect with younger generations, like Gen Z, by sharing relevant content from social platforms, while executing social behaviors that increase prospect engagement.

Gen Z Consumers in a Nutshell

Ultimately, Gen Z is on a search for “the truth” as it relates to life and the world – and how it relates to lifestyle management, products they buy and services they seek. While sales and marketing have notoriously been siloed, it’s time to bring the teams together for a more fluid and effective narrative that is personalized for Gen Z consumers in 2020.