How can online retailers vibe with Gen-Z? E-comm software exec shares 3 tips

HIGH POINT — Although Gen-Z does not yet have the purchasing power of their older counterparts, they are the next big demographic on the horizon for online home furnishings retailers.

Marketing to the up-and-coming Gen-Z buyer requires a shift in mindset about customer expectations that retailers and brands are still accounting for.

Meghan Stabler, senior vice president of marketing at BigCommerce — an e-commerce software solutions provider whose partners in the home furnishings sector include companies like Burrow and American Leather — explained to Furniture Today that “Gen-Z has different expectations as to what they see online, and so its incumbent on the brand or retailer to create the experience” that can cater to those tendencies.

Meghan Stabler, BigCommerce

Stabler noted three areas where home furnishings retailers can account for the differences in the Gen-Z buyer:

  • The availability of product customization and visualization.
  • The tone and content of product descriptions.
  • The use of community generated content on their platforms.

Product customization, she said, is a must-have for younger buyers such as Gen-Z and Millennials, but she added that retailers might be surprised how many older buyers are also “somewhat tech-savvy and eager to see what fits and what looks great in a space.” That makes product visualization and augmented reality key in reaching this demographic and vital functionality to have on any online retail platform.

While older customers want these customization options for practical reasons of configuring a space, Gen-Zers use of these tools is more subjective, Stabler said. “Gen-Z is looking for aesthetics; it’s much more about feel.”

The tone and content of product descriptions is another area where the expectations vary for different generations of buyer, creating a challenge for online retailers seeking to optimize  “how to  describe their product to a (target) demographic so that certain search arguments turn up,” Stabler noted. This is where new technologies such as AI come into play in a significant way.

BigCommerce has an AI-powered “solution inside of the product that allows (a retailer) to define tone” and tailor item descriptions to the tendencies of the target demographic.

In addition to helping retailers ensure that the correct search criteria and tone is used in product descriptions, AI can also help boost product placement within the major online platforms based on their different feed algorithms.

“BigCommerce does this with a solution called Feedonomics, which accounts for variance (between different platforms) to make sure that we are always improving the data and product feed management,” Stabler said. This allows “brands and retailers to engage and convert shoppers on the social channels they use.”

Perhaps the biggest and most salient difference between Gen-Z and their older counterparts is the unique way that the generation looks to other online users in informing purchasing decisions. It’s about more than just simple product reviews for Gen-Z, Stabler noted.

“User-generated content — that experience of unboxing, of bundling — that is not necessarily an influencer being paid to do this” but another buyer interacting with their purchase is a major part of how this group operates in online spaces, including retailers.

“FOMO (fear of missing out) is huge for this group of buyers,” Stabler continued. “They are trying to be like others who might have this or that item in their house.”

While Tik Tok is, in large part, responsible for creating these expectations, it is not the be-all-end-all of reaching this generation, as has often been assumed. Stabler says that flexibility is going to be crucial for online retailers moving forward in a very uncertain digital landscape.

“The social media landscape is changing daily retailers must have a system in place to optimize and syndicate their product data to a wide array of advertising channels, including the trending social media platform of the moment,” Stabler concluded.

See also:

Credit to Source link

Leave a Comment