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Customer Loyalty

How to Build Loyalty with Gen Z Customers

Written by 
Brad Davis
August 12, 2020

Representing a pragmatic and tech-savvy demographic, Generation Z shoppers are not easily swayed by conventional marketing strategies. To build loyalty with Gen Z customers, it’s important to understand their unique characteristics. Growing up in a fully digitized environment, they effortlessly navigate the online space, dedicating over 9 hours of screen time per day. 

While they embrace e-commerce, they are also cautious, valuing their privacy — with only 39% of Gen Z shoppers trusting brands to keep their data safe. 

Tapping into the Gen Z market isn’t merely about capturing their attention; it’s about holding onto it. Their digitally native instincts mean businesses need to evolve, innovate, and offer authentic experiences that speak to their needs. In this article, we’ll uncover some strategies to not only attract Gen Z customers, but improve Gen Z loyalty as a whole for your business. 

Who Are Gen Z Shoppers?

Gen z customers holding phones in a line.
Image source: Canva

Before we delve into killer strategies to retain Gen Z customers, let’s take a moment to build a customer profile for this generation. 

Gen Z are a socially conscious group, caring deeply about societal issues, from climate change to social justice, and they often support brands that align with their values. Especially when it comes to being eco-conscious, 66% of Gen Zers are willing to pay more for sustainable or environmentally friendly products. 

Importantly, these consumers tend to be much less attached to specific brands, instead preferring to shop around for the best deal, which only amplifies the need to build loyalty with Gen Z customers. 

They are avid social media users, with many of them preferring to shop via social media channels. It goes without saying that Gen Z are the most tech-savvy generation of them all, but they believe that technology should be used to better tailor their customer experience with a brand. 

Now that we have a bit more of an idea of who these shoppers are, let’s look into some specific strategies to keep them around.

Gen Z and Social Media Go Hand-in-Hand

Graphic of a mobile phone with icons around it.

Let’s start relatively easy. Connecting with Gen Z shoppers through social media can do wonders for keeping your brand front-of-mind. A recent study found that 54% of Gen Zers said they spend at least four hours daily on social media, with their social platforms being Youtube, Instagram, Tiktok, and Snapchat. 

If you want to get your brand on their radar, then consider strengthening your social media presence. This is vital for Gen Z consumers discovering your brand – 60% of them use Instagram to discover new brands, products, and services. 

Prioritize posting, responding to messages, and engaging with user-generated content. Consistent interaction not only boosts your visibility but also fosters a sense of community in order to build loyalty with Gen Z customers. This leads us into our next point… 

UGC (User-generated content)

Take your brand’s social media engagement a step further, by incentivizing your customers to create their own content. For instance, many loyalty programs reward behavior like writing blogs, leaving product reviews, referring peers, creating YouTube tutorials and so on.

As a generation that has far less trust in traditional advertising than their parents and grandparents have, user-generated content is a very effective tool to attract Gen Z customers. 

In regards to building a customer profile, UGC also provides businesses with a wealth of data, which you can use to tailor the customer’s experience and accommodate their unique preferences. 

Prioritize Cost-Friendly Benefits

For many Gen Zers, watching their parents face financial hurdles has shaped them into being more budget-conscious and frugal. This, paired with the current economic climate, means that they are often seeking value in their purchases and prioritize long-term financial stability. 

In fact, only 19% of Gen Z are willing to buy on credit, compared to Millennials, where 30% are inclined to do the same. 

This means that Gen Zers are more careful with who they spend their money with and therefore, search for brands that will deliver the most value. 

Using a digital loyalty platform like Stamp Me to incentivize loyalty and reward consistent engagement is a great way to build loyalty with Gen Z customers and for them to see the value in your brand. By blending quality with rewards, businesses can resonate with Gen Z’s desire for both value and recognition. 

With Stamp Me, you can create a digital stamp card that rewards customers for return visits, as they can accumulate stamps and eventually earn an exclusive reward. You can also create engagement campaigns, such as a Birthday Club and lapsed customers, to further drive enthusiasm for your brand. 

For a full breakdown of features, click here

Promoting Sustainability is a Non-Negotiable for Gen Z Shoppers

Green and black recycle signs.
Image source: Canva

Gen Z are deeply invested in the well-being of our planet and its future, presenting a significant opportunity for businesses with sustainable practices. They believe that older generations represent overconsumption, capitalism, and materialism. 

They are eager to align themselves with brands that not only practice sustainability within their brand, but reward customers for doing the same. 

Businesses using a digital loyalty program like Stamp Me can reward customers for sustainable acts, appealing to Gen Z consumers in a subtle way. For instance, a cafe can incentivize customers to bring a reusable cup by offering them a free stamp in return. 

Small gestures like this within a business can have outstanding results when trying to build loyalty with Gen Z customers, as 67% of them prefer brands that appeal to their social conscious. 

Tech-Driven Engagement Attracts Gen Z Shoppers 

Mobile phone with Stamp Me interface.

Gen Zers were practically born with phones in their hands, so it’s only natural that they should look to brands who are using technology in the best ways possible. 

Digitizing business practices and finding new platforms to engage with customers is one of the best strategies that a business can take when attempting to attract loyal Gen Z customers. 

With 95% of them owning a mobile phone, being able to interact with your brand right from their fingertips is a necessity in this day and age of consumer behaviors. 

Digitizing your loyalty program is a great way to appeal to Gen Z shoppers, as it shows adaptability and room for personalization. As we stated above, personalized shopping experiences are essential for these shoppers, who are careful with their money and their time. 

With an 100% digital loyalty program, you can tap into invaluable customer insights, seamlessly adjust your loyalty offerings in real-time, and simplify the stamp-collection process for your shoppers. This ease of use will not only improve Gen Z loyalty; but you’ll be appealing to their sustainability efforts, as paper waste taking up nearly 30% of the total waste in landfills

Selling Experiences Captures Gen Z Customers 

Direct sales pitches often fall flat with this group of consumers. When trying to build loyalty with Gen Z customers, you have to remember that they are well-acquainted with overt marketing tactics. Instead of merely knowing why your product is superior, they’re keen on understanding its direct impact on their lives: What experience does it offer them? 

Consider what experiences your business can offer a customer. For instance, if you’re a barber shop, consider an event to welcome your newest barber to the business, giving your customers a chance to come to an exclusive event. 

Or, if you’re a pizza restaurant, consider hosting a live concert and discount pizza night to get people in on a slower afternoon. 

Having a digital loyalty program can assist you in this, as you can spread the word about your event to your most loyal customers. You can also get the word out using social media, in order to reach a wider audience. 

Gamification in Loyalty Programs

Phone interface of Stamp Me Scratch & Win.

One way to savvy-up your loyalty program to improve Gen Z loyalty is through gamification

In recent years, gamification has grown to become a key term in any serious marketer’s vocabulary. By taking the fun, silly and sometimes competitive elements of gaming and applying them to your marketing campaigns, you can hook your loyal base in and build loyalty with Gen Z customers, who value experiences like this. 

Studies have found that gamification increases engagement by almost half, which ultimately leads to more customer acquisitions. And the results show financially too; companies that use gamification in their customer loyalty programs will see a 47% increase in customer spending. 

Stamp Me’s Scratch & Win feature is a prime example of simple and effective gamification within your loyalty program. This digital scratch/instant win card is a great way to add a bit of fun and additional engagement to a standard loyalty program, which can be set up and managed from the Stamp Me Merchant Console. 


Catering to the preferences and values of Gen Z is no longer a choice but a necessity for businesses aiming for longevity in today’s dynamic market. 

As digital natives, Gen Z represents both a challenge and an opportunity. Platforms like Stamp Me are a testament to the digital evolution, offering businesses a seamless way to foster customer loyalty. 

By embracing the trends we discussed above, businesses can build loyalty with Gen Z customers and engage with the generation that is redefining the marketplace.

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