Article sponsored by PayPal.
Gen Z’ers, which includes those born between 1996 and 2012, now make up 20 percent of the US population and account for $143 billion in direct spending. If you are still focused on millennials, it’s time to start paying attention to a new generation of consumers. Here are five ways to attract and keep Gen Z customers.
1. Research Gen Z Culture
Gen Z’ers are digital natives; they’ve always had access to smartphones and social media. They are also one of the most diverse generations in history. This impacts how they think — and how they spend their money.
If you want to sell to this unique generation, your company needs to learn who they are and how they interact with brands in your industry.
Here are resources for your team to learn more about Gen Z.
- Knit: Get instant feedback and Gen Z insights
- NYTimes: Gen Z in Their Own Words
- #GenZ: Podcast about Gen Z, their stories, experiences, and perspectives
- Pew Research Center: Study on Gen Z trends, demographics, and more
2. Hire Social Media Managers or Social Media Firms that Employ Gen Z’ers
Gen Z consumers are savvy buyers and can spot inauthentic advertising. Having Gen Z representatives on your marketing team (or in the firms you use) will help you hit the right tone.
Look for Gen Z’ers that represent the best of this generation by offering the perks they care about, such as:
- Flexible working hours
- Opportunities for growth
- Including them in projects that make a difference in the world
3. Offer Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) Payment Options
Gen Z customers value one thing above all else: flexibility. This is why offering BNPL options, like PayPal’s Pay in 4 solution, is crucial for attracting the Gen Z market. As younger workers, they are unlikely to have the financial resources to make larger purchases. In fact, Gen Z is expected to make up 47.4 percent of BNPL users by 2025:
BNPL allows Gen Z access to greater flexibility (and little to no interest rates.) Since much of the group works paycheck to paycheck, this flexibility is crucial.
4. Take a Stance on Social Issues
Gen Z is politically aware and active, and they prioritize spending their money on brands that align with their views and values. Look for causes that naturally align with your brand, and take stands on those issues.
Don’t insert your brand into social issues that you don’t understand, or you risk alienating this generation. Instead, sponsor or promote causes you care about and find ways to make your brand more environmentally and socially conscious.
5. Take Steps to Make Your Brand Trustworthy and Authentic
Trust matters to Gen Z shoppers. They are less likely to respond to straight advertising (they often use ad blockers) and more likely to respond to brands that are transparent.
Here’s how to increase transparency:
- Show how you use/gather data for ads, including how long you store it and whether you share it.
- Create authentic ads and marketing campaigns; don’t try to trick Gen Z customers.
- Make sure your contact information is easily accessible on your website and social accounts.
- If you use influencer marketing, choose smaller, more trusted influencers to partner with.
Trust also impacts what payment methods Gen Z’ers are willing to use, and PayPal offers a considerable competitive advantage. In fact, 53 percent of consumers between 18 and 39 say they trust PayPal to keep their financial information secure.
Gen Z’ers already impact a large portion of consumer spending. In the coming years, their buying power will continue to grow. To market to this generation, executives must push their brand to understand how Gen Z’ers think and invite them to join a movement, not just market another product.
Use PayPal’s BNPL to build trust and provide Gen Z’ers with the financial flexibility they want. Learn more here.