Questions about Generation Z will continue to rise as their impact is felt by marketers more and more. In this blog post, we break down Gen Z's behaviors and shopping trends.
Who is Generation Z?
Generation Z is defined as the generation born between the mid-1990’s and the mid-2010’s. They have been called “post-Millennials,” “the Homeland Generation,” “Gen Z,” “Gen
Born in the age of technology, Gen Z have social media accounts at a much younger age than Millennials.
“Thanks to social media, these kids have an opportunity to build out their own personal brand and become micro and macro influencers themselves, and are mindful of what they portray and endorse," claims Marisa Allan, VP/Partner Innovation at UNiDAYS, a publisher that works exclusively with college shoppers.
Gen Z Shopping Trends
Most of Gen Z’s parents involve their children in making household purchases. Gen Z’s opinion is asked when making decisions on what groceries to buy, planning entertainment, shopping for clothes, and what to eat for dinner. This family-style of decision making is present when shopping in-stores too, and according to the National Retail Federation, families spend more on average when a Gen Z family member is present on a shopping trip.
While most of Generation Z is still too young to shop without adult supervision, there are some trends emerging in those who are a little older. Gen Z tends to be less trusting of brands; they prefer a socially, and eco-friendly brand when making purchasing decisions. However, it must feel authentic. Gen Z shies away from traditional celebrity endorsements of products and instead turn to their friends, online reviews, and social media influencers; their own trusted platforms to help them vet where they should spend their dollars.
Gen Z’s spending money comes from allowance from their parents, gifts, internships, and part-time or full-time jobs. Generation Z’s preference is to shop in-store versus online. While this could change as Gen
What Does This Mean For Brands That Want Gen Z to Buy Their Products?
When it comes to advertising to Generation Z, short and to the point is best. They are known to have an 8-second attention span and are notorious users of ad blockers. Gen
Gen Z spends more time on YouTube than any other social media site. They use their smartphones more than any other electronic device in the household, beating out iPads or personal computers. One study conducted by Defy Media showed that 24% of Gen
Gen Z values transparency from the brands they support. They must feel comfortable giving a business their personal information. They want to know their data is protected, how retailers are collecting their information, and what they’re doing with it. They are also more hesitant to buy into loyalty programs. Other generations have no hesitation giving out more information, for example taking a short survey or signing up for an email list, for customer rewards or loyalty programs. However, Gen Z seems to have little interest in these and the best way to win repeat business from them remains to be focusing on the quality of the product, speed of service, and efficiency of delivery. When in-store, Gen
In addition to eschewing traditional loyalty programs, they’re also not as brand-loyal as the previous generation, choosing to spend their dollars on several different brands versus just a few.
“We have seen that our Gen Z members, due to the huge array of choices available to them, are less loyal to a single brand than previous Millennial members, " said Allen.
This could change as they grow older and find brands they prefer over others, but the trends now show that they will shop at different or new retailers versus sticking with the same ones.
While it might be hard to track whether a purchase was ultimately triggered by their online browsing or in-store experience, we do know that Gen Z hasn’t decided on which they prefer just yet, so fluidity between online and in-store buying is important.
As Generation Z grows older and their income increases, their shopping habits could change. Being able to drive could mean more in-store purchases while getting their own laptop or tablet could mean more online buying. At 2.6 billion people and $44 billion in spending power, they’re a player in the market to watch.