Gen Z has an intriguing viewpoint of consumption and personalization; unlike baby boomers, millennials, or Gen X consumers, Gen Z sees consumption as an expression of identity and therefore consumerism is seen by this generation as part of its expression of personality.
Children raised during a recession tend to be cost-conscious and adept at seeing through “deceptive” marketing tactics. Additionally, they’re smart consumers that recognize subtle forms of deception.
Gen Z’s Social Media Habits
Generation Z’s entry into consumer culture brings with it unique characteristics and expectations of brands, such as prioritizing celebrity endorsements and ethical behavior over price and product quality.
These individuals were raised within an online world and, thus, are considered digital natives. Their social media usage is typically driven by desire for connection, community building and information gathering.
Online platforms serve as platforms for their own creative expression, allowing Gen Zers to connect and be inspired by other fashion, gaming, farming, music or (insert your hobby here) enthusiasts. Furthermore, Gen Zers find comfort in content that is heartwarming or authentic – especially when researching products. Shopping websites and social media are more effective at reaching these Gen Zers than traditional channels such as television or brick-and-mortar stores.
Gen Z’s Buying Habits
Gen Zers are adept at hunting down the lowest prices when shopping online, particularly from retailers they prefer using social media or email to communicate with companies; they expect companies to respond within one day with any inquiries.
As with Millennials, Gen Zers seek personalized products that reflect their individuality at a premium cost. While they’re eager for instant gratification, Gen Zers tend to prioritize saving their earnings instead.
Gen Zers are also more inclined to purchase from brands that share their core values; in fact, 83% care that companies are positive forces in society and make lives better compared with only 78% for both Millennials and baby boomers combined; they place even greater importance on this belief than any other age group and value authenticity over stereotyping when shopping.
Gen Z’s Expectations
Gen Zers are driven to leave an impactful legacy through every purchase they make – from clothing to skincare. Gen Zers prioritize finding brands with authentic and ethical practices as well as content that empowers them, and are particularly money savvy due to having grown up amid economic instability; consequently, they prioritize savings for a secure future by building up savings accounts and creating emergency funds.
Socially aware, two-thirds agree with traditional gender roles being outdated. Furthermore, they appreciate diversity and seek brands which embrace it fully to represent all identities.
Gen Z is rapidly emerging into adulthood, making their unique perspectives and digital nativity increasingly vital to understanding. Analysts estimate they hold considerable spending power at their fingertips (an estimated $143 billion by 2023 according to analysts), as well as being highly influential when it comes to purchasing decisions made within their families (93% of parents say their kids influence them). Thus making Gen Z an indispensable target audience for brands looking to reach and engage them.
Gen Z’s Spending Habits
Gen Z is the youngest generation to earn full-time income and enjoys greater spending power. However, they are skeptical individuals who place greater importance on value over brand loyalty; and have lower tolerance for poor customer service experiences than previous generations.
As such, they often prefer businesses that provide Buy Now/Pay Later options and use peer-to-peer payments such as Venmo. Furthermore, these consumers tend to make in-store purchases and have high expectations of their online shopping experience including being able to return items easily.
Gen Z shoppers are most drawn to brands and celebrities that align with their social and ethical values, and those that support them. Although less concerned with environmental impacts of products they purchase, Gen Zers still prefer those that make an impactful statement and contribute positively to society. Furthermore, Gen Z consumers tend to save earnings and are thriftier with money than any other age group; furthermore they tend to prefer clothing made with recycled materials as well as products made by thrifty brands that use more recycled content in production.