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8 tips to reach the always-online shopping generations

Note: Verizon Media is now known as Yahoo.

Next-gen audiences require modern solutions to drive engagement and inspire purchases online

By Andrea Wasserman

As the youngest and tech savviest generations, Millennials and Gen Z have all but tuned out yesterday’s traditional advertising tactics when making a purchase decision.

Today’s shopping experience isn’t limited to what happens inside a store. Younger audiences expect to be entertained and engaged with across the entire funnel, placing the onus on brands to deliver value and utility in the right moments.

That means ads that are relevant and personal, with technology that has the power to immerse individual shoppers completely in a brand’s world.

Now is the time to get this right. Gen Z and Millennial online spending is up 33% since the start of the pandemic, with online ads shaping behavior tremendously.¹ About one in four Gen Z shoppers in the U.S. believes online advertising has influenced their purchasing decisions over the last two years, and a full 42% of them have clicked on a sponsored ad - more than any older generation.²

With 61% of young shoppers saying online ads help give them new ideas for items to buy later, here are 8 tips for grabbing their online attention now:

Keep your content short & interactive

Shoppable videos are all about action. These formats let users buy directly from within an ad, increasing engagement. And with Yahoo brands like In The Know connecting with 24M³ users across 450 weekly videos⁴, you can extend your reach and have more meaningful interactions.

Think creatively with your placements

When quality ad content meets quality sites, shoppers take notice. A majority of consumers (54%) like brands to integrate into editorial they’re reading online - and creatively driven production teams can help you get discovered through branded content, affiliate articles, and immersive experiences.¹

Immerse your audience in your world

Imagine your full product catalog, available on demand for shoppers to see, touch, and experience from anywhere. It’s not science fiction - it’s extended reality (XR). Technology like AR, VR, and 3D give your ads unmatched interactivity, allowing young audiences to try before they buy in a whole new way. That’s why 63% of Millennials and Gen Z are more likely to buy from brands that innovate in their advertising.⁵

Offer convenient deals

Gen Z and Millennial audiences are the new faces of deal hunting. With 41% of younger consumers reporting seeking out coupons, native ads can show deals in relevant contexts by resurfacing products shoppers have already looked for.¹ Be friendlier to your audience’s budgets by giving them enticing discounts without them having to look around.

Get personal to inspire discovery

With real-life retail shuttered for over a year, shoppers missed out on the rush of discovering a product seemingly made just for them. Technology like Dynamic Product Ads can bring that feeling back. DPA formats are built for creativity while being mindful of an individual’s unique interests, pulling specific ads from your product feed and serving them based on shopper behavior.

Take them on an interest-based shopping spree

When brands and products align with young shoppers’ interests, they take notice. The upcoming Yahoo Shops marketplace will be a discoverable playground for consumers to buy products that exclusively reflect their passions. It’s a virtual mall, made just for individual users, and it’s launching this fall.

Don’t sleep on email

While the majority of marketers clutter Gen Z social feeds, email inboxes often go neglected - and that’s a missed opportunity, since 58% of next-gen users check their email at least twice a day.⁶ With less competition vying for attention in this space, now is the time to get personal with email tech like AMP, Deal Ads, and Grocery Integrations that inspire purchases without having to leave their inboxes.

With Yahoo’s grocery integration within Yahoo Mail, users can make their shopping lists from their inboxes and receive recipe suggestions based on purchase history.

Partner with an expert like Yahoo

Yahoo understands next-generation shoppers and knows how to build the experiences that inspire them. We reach 90% of shoppers aged 18-34, and meet their real daily needs with premium content and immersive formats powered by unmatched tech expertise and insights.⁷

We know what makes up the shopping mindset, and we give brands the tools to make the most of the moment through end-to-end commerce experiences that evolve with your audiences. Get in touch with Yahoo to start thriving in the future of commerce.

About Andrea:

Andrea Wasserman is Head of Global Commerce at Yahoo where she leads a team of product managers, engineers, designers, marketers, strategists, and operators. They’re growing commerce revenue across Yahoo Mail, Yahoo search, and content commerce across our trusted media brands . They’re also launching new consumer-facing businesses including the March 2021 announcements of the Yahoo Shops marketplace, shoppable video, and verticals focused on Cooking and Parenting from In The Know, the top 25 US lifestyle property.


  1. Yahoo, Omnibus Consumer Study, 18-34, August 2020
  2. Yahoo, Omnibus Consumer Study, 18-34, March 2021
  3. Yahoo, Media Metrix, intheknow.com, US, March 2021
  4. Yahoo, internal data, May 2021
  5. Yahoo, Immersive Formats Study, 18-34, May 2020
  6. The Campaign Monitor, Ultimate Guide To Marketing Gen Z, 2019
  7. Yahoo, internal consumer study, March 2020
  8. comScore Plan Metrix® Multi-Platform, Yahoo (and Microsoft Partnership),Persons: 18-34, March 2020, U.S


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