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Generation Z

Generation Z: Reaching the Next-Gen Consumer

Generation Z, the generation after millennials (born between 1995 and 2012, according to Forbes) makes purchasing decisions differently from every previous generation, mostly because of how they engage with digital and social media, according to influencer marketing agency Mediakix.

These consumers are known as “digital natives” because they are the first generation that didn’t know the world before the internet. In order to earn this next generation of consumers, independent home improvement retailers need to be present in the spaces where Generation Z spends a majority of their time, which is with a smartphone in hand.

Generation Z will quickly become a powerful group of shoppers. According to Mediakix, by 2020, Gen Z will represent 40 percent of all U.S. consumers, and 85 percent of them report that they research new products on social media.

“Finally, 83 percent of those in Gen Z will trust product information shared by other shoppers on social media more than advertising,” reports Mediakix.

To help you put your brand in front of the next generation of home improvement shoppers, we’ve compiled these ideas based on the Forbes article.

  1. Get Snapping
    Generation Z loves Snapchat, so you should, too. According to the Forbes article, 51 percent of Generation Zers reported using Snapchat 11 times a day. Click here for more information on getting started on Snapchat.
  2. Tell Your Story on Instagram
    Another popular place online where you will find Generation Z is on Instagram, specifically in the Stories function, which is similar to Snapchat. Forbes reports that 40 million more people use Instagram Stories than Snapchat altogether.
  3. Mobile Is a Must
    If your website isn’t mobile-friendly (which means it sizes down to accommodate smartphone and tablet screens), then it’s time to make an update. Generation Z will access information online using a mobile device before they will use a laptop or desktop computer, according to Forbes.
  4. Consider Culture
    According to Forbes, Generation Z is the most diverse generation of Americans ever. “Members of Generation Z expect to see this diverse reality reflected on social media platforms,” Forbes reports. “Showing and celebrating cultural and ethnic diversity is important” if you want to gain these consumers.
  5. Celebrate Your Entrepreneurship
    If you’re in the market for customers and want to start on a succession plan early, consider members of Generation Z. According to Forbes, “Gen Zers are more likely than previous generations to forgo college in order to enter the working world sooner,” which may mean you can create opportunities in your business for career-minded young people.
  6. Understand Influencers
    Generation Z is tuned in to online personalities, but they aren’t necessarily movie stars or boy band members. These people, called “influencers,” are regular people who have made a name for themselves on YouTube, Instagram or other social platforms, and Generation Z trusts their feedback on products, services and brands because they are real people.
  7. Become a YouTuber
    Forbes cites data that says Generation Z spends two to four hours watching YouTube videos every day, so it stands to reason that as this consumer base needs more information about home improvement projects, they will turn to the video platform. Consider creating a channel showing project tutorials, promoting new products or capturing in-store event footage.
  8. Look Outside the Industry for Inspiration
    Check out the social media pages for brands that Generation Zers already love to help position your business online for this group. Forbes suggests clothing retailer Forever 21 and athletic company Nike as good places to start.
  9. Show Your Compassionate Side
    Generation Z is paying attention to how companies impact the world, and independent home improvement retailers should already be tuned into their communities, so this can be a simple first step. Show off your community events and charity involvement on social media so Generation Z will understand the value you offer their hometowns.
  10. Engage With This Age Group Online
    All of these recommendations boil down to one point, and that is to ensure you are embracing this next generation of consumers where they spend most of their time because these methods will only become more prominent in reaching each new generation.

About Melanie Moul

Melanie is the communications and content manager for the North American Hardware and Paint Association. She joined the NHPA team in 2016 as an editor for Hardware Retailing and now helps lead the communications team to deliver relevant, timely content to the industry.

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