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iGen: How the Youngest Adults Are Shaped by Technology

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    Gen Z, also known as iGen, has never known life without digital technology. They also now account for 40 percent of consumers. If you have been ignoring this audience, it’s time to start paying attention.

    As digital natives, iGen doesn’t have a sense of just how much technology influences everything they do because they’ve always had the option to search, purchase, and socialize online. For marketers who want to reach this important audience, understanding how iGen interacts with technology is key.

    iGen and Smartphones

    Most Gen Zers don’t remember a world before smartphones. These handy devices are an integral part of their daily lives and always have been. In fact, 98 percent of Gen Zers own a smartphone and they get them young, on average at the age of 10. Smartphone adoption among Gen Z is also outpacing those 25 years and older in almost every global market. If you want your brand to stay relevant, your mobile strategy must include targeting Gen Z. 

    Don’t limit your strategy to a mobile-friendly website, although this is a good place to start. Gen Z also has 20 percent more sessions per user in apps than older generations. In addition to having a mobile-friendly website, consider developing an app or identifying the apps they are using and create a presence there. (UNiDAYS happens to know a good one.)

    iGen Internet Usage and Preferences

    Gen Z spends more time online that any other generation, and not surprisingly, most of it is on smartphones. Too much screen time is not a concern for this group. In fact, they get uncomfortable when they can’t get online—58 percent say they can’t go more than four hours without internet access. Gen Z also goes online primarily to stay connected to friends and for entertainment, which differs from older generations that use the internet mostly for gathering information. When developing content for your brand, don’t just accumulate information, make it engaging and shareable.

    When shopping, Gen Z has some clear preferences:

    • 62 percent prefer sites that offer discounts
    • 58 percent like sites that offer free shipping
    • 57 percent gravitate to sites with appealing photos
    • 51 percent prefer mobile-optimized stores

    If you’re trying to attract this audience to your site, give them what they want—a visually appealing site that works seamlessly on their mobile devices. Oh, and deals. Lots of deals!

    Gen Z has also demonstrated a desire to create online, with platforms such as TikTok making it easy to post and share videos. Looking forward, the brands that offer creative opportunities for Gen Z and allow them to share their own content will see more engagement and long-term loyalty.

    iGen and Social Media in 2021

    Gen Z blurs the line between socializing in person and online. They talk about everything online, including the issues that matter most to them. They also search out the brands that align with their values—and avoid those that don’t. If you want to resonate with young shoppers, share what your brand is doing to make a difference. Gen Z also has a built-in radar for fake news, but social media channels are making a more concerted effort to call out misleading posts. For marketers, this means operating with transparency and vetting all information that gets posted on behalf of the brand. 

    Conversational marketing will also be on the rise in 2021 as Gen Z seeks meaningful connections with the brands they buy. Invest in technology such as chatbots and social media listening to get those conversations started. As for apps, TikTok and Snapchat take the lead. It’s time to start investing in those channels if you haven’t already. Looking for inspiration? Chipotle nailed Gen Z marketing with it’s #GuacDance Challenge on TikTok, generating billions of views

    How to Capture This Audience 

    This mobile-first generation expects to be able to do everything on a smartphone—research products, read reviews, get feedback from friends, and make seamless purchases. The majority of them seek out sites that offer discounts and free shipping. They also want to easily share deals and reviews with friends through social channels. 

    Sound like anybody you know? UNiDAYS offers it all—a mobile app that allows brands to post deals, contests, and more, with social features so they can stay connected. Create your account today to get started.

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