The TikTok Generation Doesn’t Care About Your Loyalty Points — Photo by Laasie

If it feels like the average age of a hotel guest keeps getting younger, it’s not just you. That shift is happening across the travel landscape. Back in 2020, Skift forecasted the impending Gen Z travel increase in their mega-trends report. And today, with 65% of Gen Z-ers stating that ‘travel and seeing the world’ is the most important way to spend their money, it’s safe to say that boom is coming, if not already here.

As a millennial, I remember how much our generation changed the way businesses were run. Our behavior shift was a significant one, and companies who paid attention to the true motivations and needs of our generation were the ones who were most successful. Remember the old “Millennials are killing” headlines? Yes, these shifts were so significant, that entire industries were wiped out.

Don’t let another generation be your loyalty program’s ruin. Instead, focus on what this new customer needs, wants, and likes. As the title of this article suggests, TikTok is a significant place where Gen Z is spending their time and, of course, being “influenced.” There are many reasons why the platform gained so much traction from this audience so fast, but the main one was the ability to produce and share videos that were under ten seconds.

Ten seconds is the attention span we are working with. If there’s one thing we know about this generation, it’s that they don’t want to sit around and wait. They were the first generation to grow up with mobile devices and subsequently are the most tech-savvy of any age group. The brands they’ll be attracted to are the ones with the lowest barrier to entry.

Give Gen Z What They Really Want

If you want a loyalty program that works now, as well as in the future, it’s painstakingly obvious that traditional points-based loyalty programs are not the way. In order to attract and convert Gen Z customers there must be an element of “surprise and delight” to your loyalty program, and just like TikTok, you only have a short time to provide that before they move on.

Skift said it best when they told the industry “Travel loyalty is due for disruption. Being a member in loyalty programs today is about as engaging as a trip to the auto mechanic. For most, complex rules and constraints take much of the utility out of the programs while other, more motivated travelers simply find them uninspiring.”

We’ve pointed out previously the many reasons why accruing points is the antithesis of instant gratification. Based on Gen Z’s preferences today, here are a few other ways you can help them think highly of your brand and remain loyal for years to come.

Help Them Get What They Want

According to a 2020 Oracle report, 66% of Gen Z consumers want to receive personalized recommendations while shopping. Which tells us that in order to attain loyalty from the younger generation, you need to get personal. While building trust via one-to-one relationships wasn’t always scalable, with technology, and specifically AI, the possibilities are limitless.

Your hotel’s own CRM should be chock full of interesting data points about your guests (if not, it’s time to start collecting that data)! Based on key psychographics and preferences gathered from previous stays, you can send loyalty rewards you know each traveler will love.

And it doesn’t have to be overcomplicated. By integrating a system like Laasie, one campaign can do the work of thousands, sending personalized, instantly gratifying loyalty rewards to millions of guests in one click - each guest gets a different, relevant reward based on their preferences.

Help Them At Home

Let’s assume that your CRM isn’t quite as data-rich yet as you might like at this moment. You can still provide instant rewards guests will love rather than points. While you can’t predict what they might be, you can offer a variety of options that a potential traveler could pick from.

Although Gen Z might not be making all of their own travel bookings yet, they and their younger sibling, Generation Alpha, are already influencing booking behaviors around them. Specifically, their family’s.

Consider a parent who is booking a vacation for their family. After deciding to spend their hard-earned cash with your property, they are immediately concerned about whether or not the stay will be enough to please every member of their family. But during the booking process, what if they come to a page like this?

— Source: Laasie— Source: Laasie
— Source: Laasie

Here, they find an option to get a GQ subscription for the dad, a free ice-cream for their young son, and access to trendy yoga app Alo Moves for the mom. Now, picture them being able to tell their family “I booked a vacation, and got a gift you’d like for each one of us” rather than “I booked a vacation and accrued 3,000 points.” In one of those scenarios, they are a hero, but in the other, not so much (after all what can a few thousand points get you as it’ll take years of accruing points to attain an actual reward).

Help Them Give Back

Compared to any other generation, Gen Z values environmental and social impacts the most. Therefore, brands looking to get the attention of this generation will have to fall in line with these standards. That’s why many brands are incorporating eco-friendly pledges and striving to become green or LEED certified.

But what if the reward they’re seeking is to ultimately give back? With a customizable rewards platform, providing guests the option to donate to charities, you’re helping Gen Z make an easy decision to relate and stay interested in your brand.

Think about the explosion companies like TOMS shoes had decades ago. Brands that have fallen in-line with promoting values, while also giving their customers the autonomy of choice, have risen above and beyond anyone’s expectations.

There are travel trends and marketing strategies that are more difficult to adapt to, like starting a TikTok or Instagram account (we feel your pain - say hi to us over there!). But with loyalty programs, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel and something new and inventive from the ground up. There are turnkey solutions that can help your brand become more personalized, provide variety, and help Gen Z feel recognized. And that, in turn, gives Gen Z a reason to care about your brand and stay loyal. Don’t be left behind and strategize on how to capture your Gen Z customers!

About Laasie

Laasie powers a new kind of loyalty for over 2,000 lodging partners through AI and a network of 1,000+ instant gratification partners. No points, no tiers, no waiting for qualification. Laasie incentivizes conversion and retention, driving over $700 million in direct bookings and repeat transactions.

Today's savvy customers are uninspired by yesterday's rigid loyalty programs, often leaving with unused points and limited brand affinity. Laasie uses artificial intelligence and big data to dynamically create loyalty with personalized, instant rewards that motivate customer actions like booking directly, making a return visit, joining a marketing program for offers, and more. The result? Customers enjoy enriched experiences with each brand interaction and partners benefit with increased net revenue, actionable data insights, strengthened customer relationships, and a scalable loyalty program that increases the lifetime value of every customer.