21 May 2020

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Generation Z – what do they expect from eCommerce?

 What is Generation Z anyway?

Generation Z is the generation of individuals born between 1995 and 2015. These digital natives were brought up with easy access to the internet. Now more than 95% own a smartphone, and a staggering 25% had a smartphone before the age of 10! They are connected almost 24/7 and use these devices daily to buy just about anything and everything online. As the most active generation with the highest online spending, understanding how to cater to the Gen-Z population is vital for retailers.

As a result of being spoon-fed advertising and marketing campaigns from such a young age, this generation has seen it all before! It meant that their main drivers are transparency honesty and control, and as they continue to drive major e-commerce growth, it’s important to take their views and needs into consideration.

What can discourage a Gen-Z to make a purchase?

As well as understanding the personas that reflect Gen-Z buying habits, it is also worth noting the main factors that can have a negative impact (leading to a lost or missed sale):

  • Lack of product information e.g sizing, material, colour variations etc.
  • Slow-loading website, errors on pages or broken links
  • Poor site navigation
  • Checkout is difficult to use, a variety of payment options not being provided.


What are the shopping habits of Gen-Z?

Buying intent – Gen Z tend to reach a site with buying intentions – they already have a clear idea of what they want to purchase, rather than just landing on a site to browse.

Socially active / Opinionated – A generation that truly interacts with brands, as many as 36% of Gen Z would create digital content for a brand, 42% would participate in an online game for a campaign and 43% would participate in a product review (Retail Dive).

Giving your shoppers an opportunity to give feedback will satisfy their desire to interact and engage whilst also promoting your brand in a positive way, increasing credibility and authenticity. Yotpo is a leading eCommerce marketing solution that integrates seamlessly into your current platform. With Yotpo’s AI-powered engine, you have the ability to leverage user-generated content (UGC) and use data-driven tools to collect and analyse and reviews, providing your business with valuable and actionable insights.

Environmentally conscious – Gen-Z is increasingly paying attention to brands’ environmental policies so be sure to clearly communicate the necessary information regarding this on your site. Brands that support sustainable production or offer environmentally-friendly products are becoming increasingly popular and recognised by this audience – with almost one in five (18%) saying that they were swayed by brand ethics when making a purchase decision.

Influencer Marketing / Brand focussed – One positive review from a highly-respected influencer can go a long way with Gen-Z. It is hugely popular for this generation to take inspiration from social media influencers who share their opinions and experiences with certain products. It is therefore worth working alongside social influencers who connect with your target audience as they can provide valuable words to encourage purchases.

How can you ensure your site is Gen-Z friendly?

Taking all the above into consideration, we have compiled a list of features that will help ensure your site is Gen-Z friendly.

Optimise site for search capabilities – Gen Z searches differently. As the intent is to purchase, they are often fairly assured of the exact product they are looking for. Making sure your site is optimised for search is now more important than ever. Klevu’s AI-powered site search learns shoppers browsing habits and helps you make decisions on what products are prioritised for your audience. The search results are rich and attributed, and auto-complete starts from entering just 1 character. This makes searching, an action used heavily by Gen Z, a much smoother process with higher success rates.

Mobile focussed – Ensuring that your site is just as easy to use on a mobile, as it is on desktop. Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is a useful tool that you should consider in order to maximise mobile site speed and improve the mobile web experience.

Optimising online UX – The Gen-Z-ers desire a ‘curated’ feed that is organised and is filled with content that is tailored to them. The user experience plays a huge role in the success of brands.

Speed and Convenience – Offering features such as next day delivery, premium delivery options, guest checkout, payment options, one-click purchasing, flexible returns, track delivery inch by inch until it is outside their doors!

Visual Aesthetic – Content must reflect this – in situ products, lots of high-quality images, influencer endorsements. If the product received is a true reflection/representation of what the buyer saw when they purchased, you are able to reduce your return rate.

A whole brand experience that goes beyond purchasing – Offering reward schemes, loyalty programs, VIP deals, or exclusive offers to committed customers is just some of the ways you can entice and reward returning customers.


To Summarise:

Being proactive, pragmatic, and purpose-driven, Generation Z, are, unsurprisingly, posing a challenge for retailers. If businesses do not strive to keep up with their trends and purchasing habits, there’s a strong chance they’ll fall behind.

Once you have successfully profiled Gen-Zer’s you are able to adjust your strategy and win them over. Maintaining awareness and being flexible in your approach to strategy is key in order to adapt to changing eCommerce habits.

If you need help developing an eCommerce strategy, our experts at 5874 can help! Get in touch by emailing success@5874commerce.com.




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