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Embracing the ‘new way’ of online shopping with Gen Z 

Embracing the ‘new way’ of online shopping with Gen Z 
Embracing the ‘new way’ of online shopping with Gen Z 

“Companies have not leveraged this new way of doing marketing and sales,” says supply chain expert Sofia Rivas Herrera. “Because sometimes it’s seen as marketing that is too informal.”

Herrera is a renowned supply chain specialist and the Coup de Coeur award winner at the Global Women Supply Chain Leaders 2021. As a Mexican industrial engineer, Herrera is passionate about sustainability and solving generational problems impacting the Gen Z era and its Zoomers. 

Focusing on marketing on TikTok can sometimes be seen as too informal. Still, she believes it is “very valuable” to capture Gen Z and the next generation called Alpha. 

It’s something to get used to. “I mean, they don’t Google which product is best. They check on TikTok what others say about which product they should buy.”

According to a TikTok study, 58% of its users discover new brands and products on the platform, one and a half times more than other users. In October, TikTok announced the launch of Search Ads Toggle. It’s a feature on TikTok Ads Manager that allows brands to advertise in TikTok search results. It says: The Search Ads Toggle leverages advertisers’ existing In-Feed Ad creative to serve ads alongside organic search results from relevant user queries. 

This feature enhances brand visibility to potential new customers. With the Search Ads Toggle, brands can search for campaigns for users seeking specific information relevant to their business or revenue potential. 

Who is Gen Z? 

According to McKinsey & Company, Generation Z comprises people born between 1996 and 2010. The digital revolution, climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the fear of economic collapse have shaped this generation. They were the first to grow up with full access to the internet daily. This digital generation incorporates those who are still at school while others are already running companies in the corporate world. 

Zoomers, which they are often called, is expected to make up a quarter of the population of the Asia-Pacific region by next year. 

Why should you care what Gen Z thinks? Young shoppers are shaping the e-commerce spending trends. This Christmas (2023), they intend to spend nearly double the amount of money than the previous year (2022). While the like shopping, they mostly prefer doing so online, via social commerce.

Social commerce combines different elements that contribute to the online shopping experience. It includes product discovery, reviews, ratings, sharing, recommendations, transactions, and loyalty programs, all on social media platforms. It leverages social media platforms to sell products or services to customers who spend hours on their cell phones instead of in brick-and-mortar stores. 

How to capture the Gen Z

How can brands leverage this type of marketing through social media, capturing the Zoomers? “I think the [role social media influencers play] has not been explored nor exploited by big companies yet,” says Herrara.

It’s not something as simple as you create a TikTok account. That’s not how you capture the Gen Z generation. 

“You don’t need to get your group of social media influencers; they already exist. Reaching out to them and leveraging the ones already there,” says Herrera.

According to a recent ‘The new age of Gen Z’ report by GWI, a few things can be considered when marketing for this generation.

  • Mental health matters: Gen Z is the most likely generation to have mental health conditions but don’t want to talk about it.  Campaigns can factor this in. 

  • Short-form content: Gen Z caught on to TikTok faster than any other generation. They prefer short video marketing. 

  • Embracing AI: Gen Z is most excited about AI – even at work. 

  • Finding information: Gen Z prefers using chatbots to enhance their search for anything that resonates with them. 

While marketers and companies navigate a new era of AI, authenticity is critical to keeping Zoomer customers who still want that personal connection.

About the author

Mia is a multi-award-winning journalist. She has more than 14 years of experience in mainstream media. She's covered many historic moments that happened in Africa and internationally. She has a strong focus on human interest stories, to bring her readers and viewers closer to the topics at hand.

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