You’ve heard of Generation X and Generation Y (better known as Millennials), and you undoubtedly know of many strategies to promote and sell to them. Well get ready, because here comes Generation Z, poised to be the biggest generation of consumers by 2020.
Generation Z covers those born from the mid-90s to the mid-2000s, with the oldest being in their early 20s. This generation is gaining more and more buying power: Currently, Gen Z account for approximately $29–143 billion in direct spending.
The more you know about this generation, the better. They are different from any previous generation for one key reason: They grew up with access to all types of technology—smartphones, tablets, social media, online shopping—and use them on a daily basis. They also think more globally and care deeply about their own impact on the world, particularly when it comes to the environment.
There’s one other interesting statistic that’s a good sign for the retail florist: Some studies show that Generation Z prefers brick-and-mortar stores to online shopping! In one study, 57% said they prefer to shop in-store rather than online.
That being said, how do you ramp up your sales efforts using the newest technology available? It comes down to using that technology to help train a top-notch sales team while also creating a seamless selling experience across all channels.
Sales Enablement Strategies
More and more businesses are implementing sales enablement strategies to better onboard, train and develop their sales teams. In recent years, new technology has been a growing part of sales enablement, with software that helps teams sell more efficiently.
Now technology has taken a huge leap, with software that can help you create onboarding and coaching programs, and simulate sales scenarios to develop selling skills. Additionally, some programs give you access to Artificial Intelligence which helps you locate specific areas where each salesperson can improve, which will help maximize efficiency and results.
By creating a sales enablement strategy for your business and using new technology to its fullest effect, you’ll see dramatic results in sales and profits.
Utilizing Artificial Intelligence in your business is not just a good idea, its vital if you want to stay on top of the competition and get the most out of your sales efforts. Companies are now using AI to personalize their customers’ online experience more than ever. One notable example is 1-800-Flowers, who recently partnered with IBM to create their own virtual shopping assistant, called Gwyn (Gifts when you need them).
Customers can ask Gwyn a question such as “What gift should I send my mother?” and the program guides them, by asking follow-up questions, to the exact right product. The more the customer interacts with Gwyn, the more intuitive it becomes, creating a truly personalized customer experience.
More relevant to potential new Generation Z customers, 1-800-Flowers set up a chatbot on Facebook Messenger which was an immediate success. In fact, just two months into the launch, 70% of their Facebook chatbot orders came from brand-new customers who were younger than the company’s typical customer.
1-800-Flowers also teamed up with Amazon to enable customers to order their products through Alexa. All a customer needs to do is say “Alexa, ask 1-800-Flowers to send a box of chocolates to my wife on Valentine’s Day”, and 1-800-Flowers will process the order and arrange the delivery.
The Omnichannel Experience
If there’s one thing that Generation Z expects when shopping, it’s the ability to do it seamlessly across multiple channels: They use various devices at any given moment, they research products and services online extensively before they buy, and they often demand personalized experiences that flow seamlessly from channel to channel.
To create a truly omnichannel selling experience, it’s vital to identify all the platforms your customers use and then set up your systems so that customers can easily move back and forth through them with no extra effort. Integrating social media into your brick-and-mortar business is vital, as is being able to start a conversation with a customer by text, then seamlessly moving to a website for ordering.
By knowing who Generation Z is and what they want, then implementing new technology into your sales strategy, you’ll be ready to reap the rewards well into the future.