E-commerce websites aim to provide the most sublime user experience to their customers. Gen Z is poised to become the highest spending demographic in the world. Thus, you cannot ignore their online shopping expectations.
According to NCR, Gen Z makes up 40% of U.S. customers. While millennials are still the retailers’ largest demographics, post-millennials will soon outnumber them to become the largest customer base by 2026. Forbes also reports that this latest generation holds $44 billion in buying power and is a different kind of retail demographic with fixed preferences.
Gen Z, or more aptly referred to as digital natives, have grown up with the latest of technologies and a wealth of information at their fingertips. About 74% of the respondents of a study called “Uniquely Gen Z,” said that they spend their free time online.
Consequently, they are tech-savvy, skeptical of subpar websites, and highly aware of the power of social presence. Moreover, they expect a highly interactive user interface, a personalized buying experience, and fewer barriers to content.
Keeping all this in mind here is how you should shape your website to engage with your prime target audience:
1. Simple yet intuitive interface
One of the most fundamental rules of designing a converting website for Gen Z is to keep it simple yet intuitive. Gen Z has grown up with technology, which makes them highly efficient at sifting through the clutter to find the relevant information.
While the previous generations appreciated helpful prompts to navigate through a site, website navigation is intuitive to post-millennials. They prefer a clean, clutter-free design that prioritizes functionality.
Moreover, the attention span of every new generation is smaller than the previous one. Gen Z is notorious for having an attention span of mere eight seconds as compared to Gen Y’s twelve seconds, as reported in Forbes. So, if you bombard them with redundant content, distracting ad banners, and loud marketing posts, you will soon witness an increase in your bounce rate.
Another major reason for higher bounce rates is a slow page-load time, which can be very frustrating for the digital natives. We are talking about a demographic that is used to phenomenal internet quality, unlike anything we have experienced before. Therefore, if you want people to explore your site and convert into customers, you need to ensure fast loading speed. In fact, Google research shows that the probability of people abandoning your website increases by 32% for every one to three seconds hikes in page load time.
So, avoid pop-ups, content overload, and deterring ads and incorporate more white spaces to keep the entire look minimalistic yet functional.
2. Quality design
When designing a website to capture the attention of Gen Z, you need to ensure quality in tandem with simplicity. This generation browses through multiple websites in a short span of time, making them some of the harshest critics with high expectations.
Thus, if you want your website to get its due attention, aim for a sleek, trendy design that mimics the standards they are used to experiencing. Avoid the use of too many colors and symbols and use visual communication to get the message across quickly. Use interesting videos and captivating images to provide the relevant information in its most distilled form.
3. Easy content accessibility
As we discussed above, Gen Z is raised in a digitalized world where they expect immediate access to content and are annoyed by any deliberate delays perpetrated by the websites. They also rate pop-up forms as their top frustration with sites.
While data capture is important for you as a website owner, it can come at a cost of customer retention and conversion. Therefore, consider deviating from intrusive pop-ups that block the entire screen and opt for sign-up options that do not hinder user experience. Allow direct access to content and serve promotional material once the user is invested in your site.
According to Logo Design Valley, knowing your audience and adapting your online platform accordingly can help you generate valuable leads without compromising your business goals.
For inspiration, take a leaf out of YouTube’s advertisement practices. They play a few seconds of ads before a video instead of running auto-play ads that clutter the screen.
4. Personalize the content
Gen Z prefers a personalized user experience at every level and is willing to share private information as long as they are served catered content.
According to a study, Gen Z by the numbers, two out of five of the internet-dependent generation will provide personal data for a more tailored experience. In addition, 44% of them would stop visiting a site if it is unable to anticipate their needs, likes, and preferences.
A survey by Visual Objects also deduced that the digital natives prefer Amazon and YouTube’s user experience to Facebook’s because of highly personalized content, intuitive recommendations, and a simple user interface. These tactics make the browsing more immersive and keep the visitors engrossed for longer periods.
Therefore, if you want to market your brand to the digital generation, you need to incorporate personalization elements at every tier of your website.
5. Mobile optimization
Gen Z is more likely to access your website or research it on a mobile device. Thus, ensure that your website is fully responsive and highly converting regardless of the screen size, so you are accessible from every platform. Failing to do that can result in slower page load time, improper content configuration, and a compromised user experience.
Moreover, mobile optimization always makes the list of the top website designing rules because it helps with your site’s SEO. Google also indexes mobile sites as the primary version of a website, making it imperative to create a responsive digital presence.
6. High functionality and convenience
Being born in a technologically advanced world, this generation is used to certain conveniences that were not present for the previous generations. Thus, when shopping online, they expect benefits like streamlined transactions, same-day delivery, auto-loading information, and similar time-saving features.
They do not have the patience for long loading time and buffering, and would rather exit the website for faster ones. Thus, if you fail to implement these intuitive elements for a seamless user experience, you will end up losing this demographic as your consumer base.
7. Reinforce inclusivity and responsibility
Finally, Gen Z is one of the most culturally and racially diverse generations, with deeply embedded moral and social values. If you want your content to resonate with them, you need to represent diversity on your website and on your featured images. If possible, offer your site in multiple languages to adopt inclusivity.
Moreover, according to a study by Vice and Insight Strategy Group, 77% of the post-millennials said that they want to buy from brands that align with their values.
Thus, highlight your environmental and social endeavors on your website. For example, let your potential customers know that you use sustainable products and biodegradable packaging. In addition, affiliate your business with a philanthropic organization, donate to charities and promote ethical labor policies through your digital channels.
These practices endorse your organization’s efforts to have a positive impact on the society and environment. They also reinstate that you are not just about minting money, attracting the more morally conscious generation.
Gen Z makes up a valuable percentage of the target audience for the majority of brands. Therefore, it makes sense to modify your website to appeal to this demographic. Keep your user interface simple and functional for easy accessibility and an uncluttered layout. Leverage intuitiveness in your design to provide a highly personalized experience. Finally, make your site responsive and fast loading to promote visitor retention.