For most retailers, Gen Z is an unpredictable market segment. The demographic that grew up digitally native does most of its shopping online, yet remains an enigma to retail stores. Gen Z has unique values, shopping habits, and preferred social platforms that differentiate them from previous generations. Creating sales and marketing strategies tailored to the digital generation should be an important part of your Amazon marketing strategy to attract and retain Gen Z to your online store.
That all requires understanding how Gen Z shops and learning the steps you can take to make your products, platform, and marketing attractive to the digital-first generation. Read on to learn some powerful tactics you can employ to draw in this younger audience.
TikTok is one of the largest social media platforms, with an estimated one billion users, 70% of which are aged 18-34. One study found 76% of Gen Zers not only use TikTok but also list it as their primary social media platform. It’s a popular avenue for product discovery as well, with many following influencers for product reviews, buying tips, and shopping inspiration. For example, #BookTok is so impactful that it influences the New York Times Best Sellers list, has resulted in bookstores creating dedicated display tables for it, and book publishers catering to the style of books that go viral on TikTok, with new book covers based entirely on platform trends.
TikTok and other short-form video content platforms like Instagram Stories are highly influential to Gen Z purchases. So, focus on the platforms with short form video, influencer content, and a large, relevant market share to give your business a significant boost in traffic.
Shoppable content (social media content where consumers can click through to make a purchase) is increasing in popularity. Instagram and TikTok both support it natively, without having to leave the app, which means you lower the barrier to purchasing and increase trust in the purchase.
Social capital has been a noteworthy trend over the past decade. However, since a large portion of Gen Z shops based on recommendations and showcases on TikTok, influencers enjoy greater importance in eCommerce: Their content is genuine, showcases product quality, and gives consumers a good idea of what they’ll get out of the product. That authenticity makes sponsored demos, product tutorials, and social proof or use case videos a great investment.
This kind of content also comes into play when Gen Zers research your products, because they’ll look to resources on the same platforms where they discovered your product. So, even if they see your offering in an ad, they’ll still research it in video content on TikTok and Instagram, meaning you need tutorials, demos, and reviews.
Gen Zers often make purchases based on convenience: According to an Amazon survey, Gen Z respondents were 1.2 times more likely to be drawn towards sellers who offer convenience, such as bundles, recurring subscriptions, express checkout, and Prime free shipping.
So, combine items that complement each other into attractive bundles. Or, put together a subscription package of household necessities, accessories, ethnic snacks, etc. For example, if you sell candles, you could offer subscribers a 15% discount on a new package every three months. Consider expanding your subscriptions and boxes beyond household basics to books, clothing, food, and luxury items.
As a highly peer-driven demographic, review curation and management are important markers of reliability for Gen Zers and so should be a key part of your Amazon marketing experience. It doesn’t matter how much good press you have on other channels if someone reaches your Amazon store and sees it’s full of bad reviews. That extends to your products as well. So, if your service or items start to receive negative reviews, look into why and fix the issue.
Gen Z marketing emphasizes word-of-mouth advertising (especially via video reviews) and positive product reviews. This means your products should maintain high quality and meet or exceed shopper expectations. That consistency in your offerings will encourage regular positive reviews and encourage buyers to advocate for your brand to others.
Gen Zers usually prefer to watch a video rather than scroll through text. To cater to this trend, include high-quality product videos on each Amazon listing page and in your ads. Consider using shoppable videos for more engagement. Keep videos under one minute for the best impact. Also, add text highlighting pertinent points of the video, as many Gen Zers watch videos with the sound off and subtitles on.
Young age often translates to cash strapped. As such, Gen Z shops for value, searches for discounts, and waits for sales. Communicating the value consumers will gain from your product is a proven way to convert shoppers. That can be as simple as using Amazon Prime to provide free shipping, or it could mean curating insider discounts so consumers feel like they’re receiving an exclusive deal. You can also partner with influencers and give them a discount code to advertise on their social media channels, send coupons to your email subscribers, or provide some other insider discount if you’d rather avoid a site-wide sale.
Gen Z is reluctant to trust brands so, to show you genuinely want to help, you need to connect with shoppers. Make sure you have your contact data like phone and email clearly displayed on your Amazon store so consumers can easily get in touch with you. In the same vein, respond to questions and reviews promptly. Maintain an active presence on your marketing channels by regularly engaging with people and working to solve their problems. You can even take it a step further and connect with people in real life through pop-up shops, booths, and other physical presence. However, your focus should be on social media and building a good online reputation, since many people will research your store online before visiting in person.
Many marketing strategies are designed to get products into shopping carts. Gen Z consumers complicate this by filling their carts to compare items, curate what they want, and save products while waiting for sales — none of which guarantee they’ll buy whatever’s in the cart. Here, Amazon Prime is a critical asset to entice Gen Z shoppers with free, fast shipping.
If you don’t use Amazon Prime though, offer incentives to promote a sale once your product is in the shopping cart. For example, you could use automated tooling to run occasional small discounts in price, which encourage people who have an item in their cart to make the purchase. You can also send email deals or send alerts for sales on TikTok if you think your products are sitting bookmarked for too long.
Gen Z builds relationships with brands, not retailers, which means shopping at department stores or with faceless Amazon sellers is on the decline among Gen Zers. Instead, they choose who to buy from based on convenience, accessibility, and reduced shipping. If you can connect with consumers and put a face to your name, they’re more likely to head to your site or Amazon store to buy. That’s why you should build your own shop alongside your Amazon store, as you’ll have more chances to win over shoppers and increase your long-term relationship with buyers.
Gen Z shopping habits are vastly different from any generation before it. A surveyed 83% of this younger demographic report at least some shopping begins on social media, and they consult social proof in the form of video reviews, demos, and friends sharing videos before buying a product. Along with an active social media presence, you need to communicate value, ensure the barrier to buying is low, and manage the quality of products and reviews across your site to draw in more Gen Z shoppers. This generation is a unique beast, so invest time and resources in developing strategies and crafting content that caters to their buying behaviors.