How good is your brand at handling the purchasing behaviors of millennials and Gen Z?

As the two largest generations now entering the peak of their purchasing power, your brand ignores millennials and Gen Z at your own peril. Knowing what these two distinct demographics want and how they prefer to shop is absolutely critical if you want to have any hope of remaining relevant in the future. Part of the challenge, however, is that these two groups have grown up under some very different circumstances. These influences have shaped their behavior, and it’s up to you to determine how you need to reshape your marketing strategies in response.


Who Are Millennials?

Generally recognized as the generation born between 1981 and 1995, millennials are the last generation to know what the world was like before the advent of the Internet. Because they grew up by and large without being online, they will use smartphones and other connected devices to shop, but that’s not typically their default. Having come of age during a period of relative economic prosperity, they also tend to be more free with their spending.


Marketing to Millennials

One of the most important distinguishing characteristics of the millennial consumer is that he or she spends a lot of time thinking about the social and ethical impact of purchases. These consumers look for brands that line up with their values and belief systems, even paying a premium for products and services that do. When crafting your messaging for these shoppers, you should try to highlight how what you do can be seen as a benefit to society and the environment.

Another important element of how millenials buy is how much they value convenience and value-added services. These make elements such as free shipping and loyalty rewards significant considerations for them. They also tend to be more receptive to the idea of subscription-based business models. If you can incorporate any of these ideas into your marketing, you stand a much better chance of reaching these consumers.


Who Is Gen Z?

As the generation born after 1996, Gen Z has spent its entire life on the Internet. That means they’re much more likely to do most of their shopping online. Having grown up during more tumultuous times than millennials, they also tend to be more cautious with their money and look for alternatives to the traditional higher education track and job market. They value job security more highly than their older counterparts, as well.


Marketing to Gen Z

One of the main ways in which Gen Z differs from the previous generation is that they can be more adventurous when shopping. Instead of sticking with the same name brands their parents and grandparents trusted, these younger shoppers are more willing to seek out lesser known and smaller companies through the Internet. Primarily, these consumers use social media to identify and connect with the brands they patronize.

Like millennials, Gen Zers put activism and social awareness high on their list of priorities. If you can highlight how your brand makes a difference through sustainability efforts, contributions to charitable efforts and the like, you can be poised to find success through this demographic.

Although they can be different in many ways, the one thing millennials and Gen Z have in common is their massive potential. With hundreds of billions in purchasing power shared between them, these two generations represent the most dominant force shaping the economy now and in the decades to come. If you want to make the most of your opportunities with these consumers, you need to be able to present them with messaging that speaks to them and their unique circumstances. For more details, take a look at the accompanying resource for ideas on handling purchasing behaviors of millennials and Gen Z.

Author bio: Jay Catlin is CEO at AMS Fulfillment, a leading order fulfillment company servicing B2B and B2C clients nationwide. Catlin has been with the company since 2002 and helped grow AMS into the successful third-party fulfillment entity it is today.


Handling Purchasing Behaviors Of Millennials


This infographic was created by AMS Fulfillment, clothing fulfillment services