By The NSA Team

If you’re looking for your marketing to be effective, consider the personality and buying practices of the target audience. Gen Z shopping is significantly different than the way millennials, Generation X and Baby Boomers like to buy things. Gen Zers consist of those born in 1995 or later. According to Forbes, Gen Z is on track to become the largest generation of consumers in just a few short years. They already represent up to $153 billion in buying power – and that’s without accounting for the influence they have on household spending, For reference, a Nielsen study shows Millennial spending at just over $65 billion.  We as marketers need to take action now.

The Importance of Social Media

Social media plays a massive part in the daily lives of Gen Zers.  They use fewer social platforms than Millennials but spend longer on them.  While the number of social media platforms might have grown significantly over the years, Gen Z are choosy about where they are sharing their content. According to, what Gen Zers want for entertainment is apparent in their choice of social platforms: YouTube attracts by far the biggest Gen Z contingent. Elsewhere, they’re slightly less likely than Millennials to be Facebooking or Tweeting, but more likely to be Instagramming, Snapchatting and Pinning. Even more importantly, these platforms influence how they feel about products. When their friends make recommendations on social media, Gen Zers listen and act accordingly. That makes third-party recommendations especially valuable for businesses attempting to reach Gen Z.  Interestingly, Gen Z responds strongly to ratings from strangers as well. Followers give great weight to social media posts from influencers, and online ratings have a huge effect on purchasing decisions. They want to hear from “real” people. Positive reviews on Yelp are a great advantage for restaurants, while consistently negative reviews can turn away Gen Z, even if teens have never visited the restaurant personally.

Mobile Optimization

Unlike other generations that like to shop online at home using a laptop, Gen Zers prefer to check out products using their smartphones. Many young adults use a phone even when they’re inside stores, saving time by checking out offerings as they roam the aisles. They know exactly what they want, and they want to find it right away. Every business hoping to attract Gen Z customers should make sure that the website looks amazing on mobile devices and is easy to navigate.

Cross-Channel Marketing Techniques

Ironically, Gen Z doesn’t just enjoy shopping online. This generation is primarily focused on great experiences. They want to feel catered to everywhere they go, both online and in brick-and-mortar locations. This means that brands need to have a firm identity, be it playful, chic or energetic, and then express that personality in all avenues of marketing. Social media advertising, website SEO, OTT video ads and in-store messaging should all be harmonious and friendly.

Focusing on Experiences and Lifestyle

Gen Z shopping habits are about creating the desired lifestyle. Prices and sales are far less important to Gen Z than having Instagram-worthy moments. Craft drinks, luxurious clothes, expressive furniture, and colorful electronic devices all succeed with Gen Z because they focus on creating a personal narrative.

What’s next…

Gen Zers don’t want to talk about changing the world, they want to do it! Meaning marketing strategies need to be reengineered to think differently and focus on experiential content.  We need to make them feel special toward a brand and have little time to do so.  They embrace brands that “walk the walk” with products that are customizable and unique, and it goes to great lengths to buy items that represent individual personalities and interests. Brands that take these factors into account when marketing are better positioned to take advantage of Gen Zers growing buying share.