How to Attract Gen Z Customers

 Two teens use their smartphones to take pictures of their friend trying on clothes in a secondhand clothing store. The third teen is trying on an oversized yellow jacket and is posing in front of a doorway leading to another part of the store. The walls of the shop are cluttered with various pieces of clothing in every color and pattern imaginable. A cabinet next to the posing teen is filled with jewelry displays.

Gen Z’s desire to buy with sustainability in mind may attract them to businesses like secondhand clothing shops and online stores with recyclable packaging. — Getty Images/Joos Mind

you haven’t paid much attention to how your business can attract
younger consumers, you’ll want to start. Members of Generation
Z—those born roughly between 1997 and 2012—are becoming a driving
force in the economy. What’s more, many support smaller businesses.

68.2 million Americans make up Gen Z, and they account for slightly
more than 20 percent of the U.S. population, Insider Intelligence reports.
They command about $150 billion in buying power, according to Insider Intelligence.

two-thirds of both millennials
(those born between 1981 and 1996) and Gen Zers said they’d
participate in Small Business Saturday, which occurs the Saturday
after Thanksgiving, a recent Bankrate survey
found. The
initiative was launched
in 2010 by American Express to help local businesses attract
customers, and
Small Business Saturday 2022 drove an estimated $17.9 billion in
business, American Express reports.

is key, as customers who shop Small Business Saturday are likely to
continue patronizing small businesses after the holiday season.
“Nearly three-quarters of respondents to American Express’ 2022
Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey said Small Business
Saturday makes them want to shop and dine at small, independently
owned retailers and restaurants all year long because of the impact
it has on their local community,” said Brett Sussman, Vice
President and
Head of Sales and Marketing with Kabbage from American Express. About
68 cents of every dollar spent at a small business stays in the
community, also according to American Express.

how can your business tap into Gen Z consumers? These steps can help:

Master social media

Social media is now key in attracting all consumers, but
particularly Gen Z. Two-thirds of Gen Zers on TikTok have shopped
with a small business displayed on their “For
page, American Express

business retailers can use social media to attract both online and
in-store shoppers,” Sussman said. Targeting social media content
to your local audience can boost awareness and drive foot traffic,
while customer-profile targeting can drive online sales, he said.
Nearly half—47%—of small businesses expect social media
advertising to have the greatest impact on customer acquisition, he

particular, social commerce—shopping
experiences that occur within a social media platform—is poised to
hit almost $80 billion by 2025, up from about $27 billion in 2020.
Younger consumers are leading the way, with 63% of Gen Z
looking to connect with brands on social media.

Three-quarters of Gen Z consumers said sustainability was more important to them than the brand name of product.

Go mobile

About 29% of small businesses are prioritizing mobile and investing
to build a mobile app for their small business, Sussman says.

on customer service and unique items

More than half of respondents to the Bankrate survey said they
shopped smaller retailers because of their ability to provide unique
gift ideas, while 48% appreciate the better customer service.

ready to adjust

During the pandemic, many
online businesses had to quickly scale operations, said Kathy
Korman Frey, Professor at The George Washington University School of
Business and Managing Director, Center for Entrepreneurial
Excellence. “The
word of the day is ‘pivot.’”
Frey said. Services that can help in amping up online transactions
are a go-to for small businesses, she added

The goal? Make it easy for customers to do business with you, whether in person, online, through mobile apps, or through social commerce.

any sustainability initiatives you’ve launched

Three-quarters of Gen Z consumers said sustainability was more
important to them than the brand name of product, according to a
by First Insight and the Baker Retailing Center at the Wharton
School at the University of Pennsylvania

Sustainability actually resonates with consumers of all ages, the survey found. Nearly three-quarters of all respondents said sustainable packaging is very or somewhat important, up from 58% in 2019.

tools to keep customers returning

Offering a membership or subscription model is an excellent way to
keep customers coming back, Frey said. “It’s simple. It works.
It can be a great first step for a small business in 2023.”

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts.
However, before making any business decision, you should consult a
professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.


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