The Center for Generational Kinetics researches how different generations of shoppers discover and interact with retailers and brands. In a recent study of Generation Z – shoppers currently aged between 2-19 – they found that 50% of these shoppers won’t go to a website that can’t anticipate what they’re looking for.
Let’s take a look at what that means for your business. These statistics can be easy to dismiss if your target audience isn’t particularly young: small children don’t do a lot of their own shopping. However, children do influence their parents’ purchasing decisions, and they grow up quickly. The experience and expectations they have of technology will be fully formed by the time they have their own money to spend. These expectations aren’t formed in a bubble: Gen Z’s parents, relatives and friends also value highly personalized shopping experiences.
We’ve learned how to deliver highly personalized shopping experiences on multiple platforms. The in store experience can be highly personalized; the same is true of social media and online advertising, where targeting tools can be used to pinpoint specific audience segments. However, when the ads work and the shopper takes the next step and visits the business’ website, the personalization stops; the experience becomes much more one-size-fits-all.
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Creating a personalized website requires making use of analytic data. Every time a visitor comes to your website, their behaviors are recorded; over time, these records reveal shopper preferences and trends. While it’s not quite possible yet to deliver a truly individualized experience, smart websites can currently learn from a retailer’s existing customer base enough to create highly tailored experiences that satisfy more than one audience segment. The technology to make this happen is now becoming available to and affordable for small business owners, preparing them to satisfy today’s customers as well as tomorrow’s. Gen Z is growing up faster than you think!