Engaging with Digital Natives: Best Practices for Targeting Gen Z and Millennial Shoppers

May 15, 2024

Engaging with Digital Natives: Best Practices for Targeting Gen Z and Millennial Shoppers

Gen Z and Millennials are a unique group of consumers. The digital natives require brands to reshape marketing approaches to gain initial trust and long-term loyalty.  These shoppers prefer to shop online rather than in-store. They’re open to exploring various brands from which to shop. And they’re ready to buy. 


Outperforming your competitors requires you to understand these shoppers, their behaviors and preferences, and how to position yourself to meaningfully engage with them. Read on to learn effective strategies for capturing the attention of these younger, digitally savvy consumers. 


1. Maintain a Strong Online Presence 


Your product can meet every consumer need –– at the right price; you can have optimal reviews and UGC on your product pages and you can deliver exceptional product content. But you lose credibility with Gen Z and Millennial shoppers if you lack a strong online presence. A website alone isn’t enough. 

Maintaining a robust online presence is essential to engage with and earn the trust of a digitally native audience. Here are a few ways to make this happen: 

  • Prioritize all relevant social channels, post regularly and interact with users 
  • Maintain updated product information and content on your site
  • Utilize emerging platforms and technologies, like AI personalization 
  • Create and foster an online community

And remember, it’s not just about being online; meaningful engagement on these channels is critical. Interactive content, like polls, Q&A sessions and social media challenges foster communication as does intentional engagement with user posts and comments. 

Gen Z and Millennial shoppers don’t take a brand at face value; they do their research. In just minutes, they can find every digital footprint your company has left. Ensure you maintain a strong, active and relevant online presence. Doing so instills confidence in the consumer and edges them toward purchase.


2. Deliver a Seamless Experience between Channels 


All retail is omnichannel. This is especially true when targeting Gen Z and Millennial shoppers. Even consumers shopping in-store go to their phones to price check and compare products to ensure they get the best item at the best value. 

Digital-first consumers hop between channels as they shop. To sell to this group, you must deliver a seamless content experience. That means branding and content, down to the minute details, must be consistent everywhere you sell your products. Content is king, but it’s nothing without consistency. Consistent, accurate, up-to-date product content cultivates trust, increases recognition and recall, and earns conversions built on confidence. 

Because Gen Z and Millennial shoppers typically hit multiple channels (as they compare various products) during their buyer’s journey, product content consistency is essential to garner trust at every touchpoint

Utilizing the right content syndication tool helps you engage audiences with consistent, high-impact content that’s the same everywhere they interact with your brand.  


3. Engage with Interactive User-Generated Content 


User-generated content (UGC) is the top factor influencing online purchase decisions. Consumers consider verified customer reviews more weighty than even pricing and recommendations from friends or family. Photo and video content from users fills in the gaps in your PDP content and provides a real-world perception of your product. 

UGC provides the social proof consumers want when purchasing a product sight unseen. And while any UGC will boost your sales (an average of 3.8%), interactive content is the real revenue driver.  PowerReviews found that publishing interactive UGC on product pages increases conversions by 102.4% higher than average, jumping to 108.6% when shoppers interacted with reviews specifically.

Below are a few interactive features that engage shoppers and convert them into customers: 

  • “Helpful – Yes” rating votes 
  • “Helpful – No” rating votes  
  • Review search
  • Customer photo/video carousels
  • “Show more answers” options 
  • “Click to read answers” options 
  • “Answer helpful” votes  

The presence of UGC will increase your sales. But when you empower customers to interact with and engage with that content, conversion doubles—or more. 


4. Personalization and Comfort


Personalization isn’t just an option for competitive retailers engaging with digitally savvy shoppers, it’s imperative. These audiences expect personalized content, including relevant product recommendations and customized email campaigns. 

Bespoke interactions show consumers you care, and that’s what they want from brands: intentional, personal interactions. When those touchpoints lead to a sale, shoppers expect a seamless, straightforward buying process. That can include a mobile-responsive design, multiple payment options at checkout and a straightforward checkout that expedites purchase. 

Woo shoppers by building personalization into your content and guiding them through the purchase process with as little friction as possible. Seamless shopping and checkout deliver exceptional user experiences and help reduce cart abandonment—a win-win. 


5. Cater to Their Values 


Digital natives don’t merely shop for products. When they buy, they make a statement. Finding a product that meets their needs or provides an acceptable solution to their problem is not enough. They want to purchase that product from a brand that aligns with their values and ethics and are transparent about their processes. 

Highlight eco-friendly products and practices, your support of social causes and any ethical decisions that shoppers might relate to (for example, are your products cruelty-free or ethically sourced?).

Including badges on your PDPs lets you quickly communicate your brand’s values at a glance. Build your values and social responsibility into your marketing strategy so shoppers can know who you are and what you stand for. 


6. Authenticity Matters 


Millennial and Gen Z audiences are more likely to shop with businesses that feel like reliable, personable entities, not faceless corporations. They can easily discern a genuine marketing campaign against brands that will do whatever it takes to make a sale. Companies will save time and money and earn customer loyalty by prioritizing authenticity at every stage of the retail journey. From PDP content to brand values to socials and across every customer touchpoint, strive for authentic, genuine and sincere engagement. 

Share behind-the-scenes details. Speak candidly about challenges –– and surprising successes. Creating an authentic brand voice and then using that voice to share the good, bad and ugly about your company attracts Gen Z and Millennial shoppers who crave sincerity. 


Bridging the Gap 


Engaging with Gen Z and Millennial shoppers requires meeting them where they are, which means bridging the gap between traditional commerce and their digital native experiences. This requires a deep understanding of this demographic’s unique shopping behaviors, preferences and values. Translate these insights into an engaging, simple and efficient shopping experience, and you’ll earn sales from this group. 

1WorldSync provides the content solutions you need to engage with digital natives and attract these younger, digitally savvy shoppers. Reach out to our team to learn more about how our content tools can help you capture the attention (and wallets) of your audiences.