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Generation Z is coming. Is your small business ready?

Generation Z restaurant customers using social media

Generation Z is growing up - and they've got money to spend. As a small business owner, are you prepared for the most digitally savvy generation ever?

Gen Z is defined as people born from 1997-2012. That’s about 86 million people who hold $44 billion on buying power.1 But what makes them different? Unlike Gen X or Millennials, Gen Z members are true digital natives. They've always had access to the internet, and they've made it a seamless aspect of every part of their lives.

They are one of the first generations to be fluent in rapid information gathering. They sift through institutional messages, filter out excess noise, and identify voices they can trust. They love video content and brands with a purpose. Intrigued? Read on to find out the best ways to cater to them.

What are the opportunities for small businesses and Gen Z?

Sell and work in new ways.
Gen Z has grown up in a connected world. They spend five hours or more a day online2, so it is imperative for you to have a strong online presence, including email and social media marketing. Not only that, your business needs to feel like one company across all digital and physical spaces.

Creating a comprehensive online presence allows you to explore innovative technology that can help you connect with new customers in new ways, like location-based mobile marketing. Plus, when your business is digital-first, your success won't be tied just to your neighborhood - you'll have a whole world to find your niche. Bank of America Merchant Services can help you with your eCommerce platform and help you stay secure, no matter where your orders are coming from.
Create a spark with social.
With razor sharp targeting, social ads are a cost-effective way to build the personality of your brand. Social profiles can give your business a voice and allow you to interact with customers in a place that Generation Z is listening. Social can also be a great way to test promotions like coupons or gift cards. Bank of America Merchant Services offers flexible plans for digital (or physical) gift cards.

Learn how to take your social media to the next level.
Support a cause
This isn’t for every business, but using your brand to support a cause can help raise your profile with Gen Z. Donating a percentage of profits or collecting donations for charities that compliment your company’s mission can go a long way towards building a connection with like-minded individuals. A cause can make your business be more than just another storefront. Clover POS systems can help streamline your fundraising with a variety of fundraising an donation apps that allow customers to easily contribute at checkout. Visit the Clover App Market to find one that works for you.
Accept mobile payments Unlike other generations, Gen Z is more comfortable with mobile wallets and other digital ways to pay. Keeping a flexible POS system with devices that support digital payments, like the Clover Mini, Flex, Station and Go, will be key for your business.  

So yes, Gen Z is digitally savvy and more attention-deficient than other customers. But if you speak transparently and consistently across all mediums, your business will appeal to them far more than any faceless conglomerate. Once your story captures their attention, Gen Z will not forget.

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