Gen Z Insights is your source for the latest Gen Z marketing trends and perspectives, presented by UNiDAYS.

Subscribe to GZI


3 Tips For Engaging Gen Z in 2021

    Download the report: Gen Z spending habits before and during COVID-19

    The highs and lows of Q3 for Gen Z

    Gen Z boasts a well-earned reputation for being a notoriously tricky demographic to get onyour side. So, how do you make students fall in love with your brand?...

    2020 is a year for the record books, and with the holidays behind us, it’s time to look forward and create new strategies for engaging Gen Z in 2021. 

    The retail landscape changed dramatically last year with brands of all types having to constantly adapt. Now that the dust has settled and companies have established new systems for safely selling their products, the attention can shift away from reacting to more strategic thinking. Younger consumers have also adapted to the times, and if they want to stay relevant, brands need new approaches to engage Gen Z in 2021. 

    The question for Gen Z brands is this: What is the best way to engage young shoppers with tight budgets?

    Spending Limitations for Gen Z

    Of all generations, Gen Z suffered the most job losses due to COVID-19. This has forced some young adults to adapt to a new financial reality with 37 percent saying they receive financial help from parents and 26 percent saying they have moved back home to save money. With unemployment rates still in the double digits, we can expect to see some belt-tightening into 2021. Members of Gen Z also tend to have lower incomes than their older counterparts because they are just entering the workforce. Given the global pandemic, career milestones and pay raises have been further delayed. 

    This doesn’t mean Gen Z doesn’t plan to buy products and services this year. What it does mean is that, as always, the shopping experience, deals, and discounts make a difference when making purchasing decisions. Despite their financial limitations, Gen Z still makes up 40 percent of all consumers. Keeping them engaged even through these trying times is critical. Here’s how you can do that:

    1. Mobile First for E-commerce

    Tighter budgets have not changed Gen Z behaviors; they are still mobile first in everything. It’s no surprise that these digital natives are comfortable with making purchases online—specifically on their mobile devices—but the truth is, they would rather be shopping in person. Even though they might be unable to shop in person because of pandemic restrictions, you can still offer a unique experience that will keep them coming back for more. 

    When offering online shopping, provide the best of both worlds with apps that allow them to virtually try products. The beauty industry has been leading the way since before the pandemic with interactive mobile experiences, so follow its lead and offer a satisfying contactless experience for your products. 

    Leverage these defining Gen Z traits. Download our Gen Z Marketing Playbook.

    2. Safety First in Stores

    There is no doubt that people planned to do less in-store holiday shopping last year, but of all the generations, Gen Z is the most likely to go gift hunting indoors. For example, in the U.S., 62 percent of Gen Z survey respondents said they planned to participate in Black Friday shopping in stores in 2020, while the majority of folks in other generations decided to stay home. These survey results are an indicator that Gen Z wants to shop in stores and are generally comfortable doing it, but only if you make the effort to protect their health

    Physical distancing and other safety measures are high priorities for Gen Z shoppers, so your store should offer the following:

    • A low-touch shopping experience
    • Easy pickup or delivery options, ideally with a mobile app
    • A streamlined website to easily research products before coming to the store

    3. Budget First in Everything

    No matter whether Gen Z is shopping online or in store this year, one thing is consistent: They have a budget and they’re sticking to it. More than ever, sales, discounts, and special offers will be top of mind for Gen Z. Engage younger consumers with the following strategies:

    • Student-only discounts that extend to university-aged shoppers who are not currently enrolled due to COVID-19
    • Free shipping in addition to other discounts
    • BOGO and free-gift-with-purchase offers
    • Payment installment plans that allow them to spend more

    UNiDAYS for It All

    The UNiDAYS platform allows you to use all three of these tips: reach Gen Z on our mobile platform, offer in-store and online discounts, and create unique offers that resonate with this budget-conscious crew. Getting started is easy. Just create an account, set up your brand page, post offers and giveaways, and use our built-in reporting tools to optimize your campaigns. 

    UNiDAYS x Ad Age: Gen Z Marketing Playbook

      Every hour UNiDAYS creates 10,000+ brand engagements for our partners


      The highs and lows of Q3 for Gen Z

      Gen Z boasts a well-earned reputation for being a notoriously tricky demographic to get onyour side. So, how do you make students fall in love with your brand?...

      Good for the mind and body: wellbeing, earning and learning with Gen Z

      It’s no secret that Gen Z are a little bit… unique. However, despite all of their challenges,students are resilient and focus on self-improvement, whether...

      Gen Z is interacting with tech like no other generation

      Gen Z is the first generation to have grown up with tech as an integral part of their lives, soit’s no surprise that their purchasing behaviours are slightly...

      Grab your roadmap to capture Gen Z in Q3

      Gen Z aren’t the easiest bunch to decipher: their purchasing habits tend to be a little bitdifferent than previous generations and, when it comes to travel,...

      Get Gen Z Insights straight to your inbox

      Think digital marketing is all it takes to reach Gen Z? Think again. Download the research report here.