Is your website Gen Z friendly?

If you don't get better, your competitors will.

Reading time: 4 mins.

It’s a Gen Z (current age 12-27) world and are we are just living in it.

Their preferred way of consuming content, living online, and their preference for unfiltered reality, coupled with a short attention span, differs significantly from that of Millennials or Gen X (born 1965-1980). If you’re a few years older than they are (but who’s counting), you may need to bridge a gap. This generation is setting trends and older generations are increasingly adopting their styles and habits.

I'm discussing this because I see a significant gap between many current website designs and the way social media has influenced our behavior and attention span. Entrepreneurs who aren't very digitally savvy are investing in websites, photos, and copy that lack the necessary hooks to match the attention span of a modern consumer.

Regardless of whether your target customer is 25 or 65, everyone is busy, exhausted, and the competition is fierce. To win customers' money, you must ensure your website has all the elements to grab their attention, maintain it long enough, and package your products in an irresistible offer.

Take lessons from TikTok. It has completely changed how we consume media. Even if you’re not a TikTok user, you've likely seen how the trend for short, attention-grabbing videos has moved to Instagram and YouTube. The trend for written posts starting with a strong hook, dominating Facebook and other platforms, is also inspired by TikTok.

This shift obviously affects customer expectations for a good e-commerce website too.

Here are things to include:

👉 Adopt a “3-second hook” approach, repeated throughout. Ensure your photos are interesting, mix them with video content, use clear copywriting and add other elements that trigger purchases. Create attention-grabbing visuals for your best deals and highlight your best-selling products. Your website needs to be addictive – the worst thing it can be is b o r i n g.

👉 Make it aesthetically pleasing with bold graphics and high-quality visuals. With so many tools available for free or at a low cost, there’s no excuse for crappy visuals.

👉 Personalization is big. Customers are more likely to buy if they've already invested time into your product. I’ve seen companies increase conversions by including playful quizzes to recommend products best suited to the customer's needs. Personalization can also involve grouping products into categories based on different user personas, essential if your store has a wide range of products.

👉 Social proof and user-generated content are becoming the norm. Simple (and potentially fake) reviews are going out of fashion, so always try to incorporate real people with real faces on your website.

👉 Mobile-first. This should go without saying, but if you're struggling with sales and your website isn't mobile-friendly, fix this first before anything else.

Here are some websites I like; hopefully, you’ll get some good ideas from them:

Moérie: Good use of social proof and hooks, incorporates a quiz that recommends products.

Cult Beauty: Effective product descriptions and a creative way of categorizing products – think “stress relievers” as opposed to just “candles” or “supplements.” This approach makes browsing more entertaining and showcases categories customers might otherwise overlook.

ZARA: If you’re selling many products, there's always the risk of browsing becoming boring, especially if the photographs are all styled similarly. I like how ZARA adds variety to their photo feed by mixing photos and videos, different photography styles and poses.

Shein: Upon opening, the Shein website greets you with dozens of value deals and discounts. While brands like ZARA communicate their brand aesthetics as well as sell, a marketplace like Shein, with a Chinese-style UX, is designed for one thing only – to sell as many products as possible, fast. It works. Take a look and decide if there are any practices you can adopt.

Updating a website is expensive and time-consuming. I know you're always short on time – everyone is. However, don't ignore this. Just having a good product and the right pricing isn't enough. If you don't work on getting better, your competitors will. You'll miss out on a great opportunity, and then it's almost impossible to catch up with the leaders.

Actionable Tip of the Week: Find 5 exceptional websites (try looking beyond your niche) and compare them to yours. Review every aspect – image style and size, fonts, use of white space, tone of voice and overall website structure. Analyze which elements effectively "sell" to you and which don't. Create a list of aspects you need to improve, categorizing them into "Programming" and "Content" changes. Schedule a discussion with a programmer to talk about the technical changes. Also, plan a meeting with your team to brainstorm content improvements.

If you need help with your website, feel free to get in touch.

Coming up in next Monday's newsletter: lessons to be learned from M&Ms candies.

P.S.: If you can think of a couple of people who would gain value from reading this newsletter, I would highly appreciate if you could share it with them 🙏