Generation Z (also referred to as Gen Z) is the demographic born between the mid-1990s and the early 2010s. Now this is a generation that has grown up in the height of the digital age, where they have experienced the growth of technology, the internet and social media resulting in them being tech-savvy individuals. All of this has heavily impacted their buying behaviours, as they are much more conscious and smarter in their purchase decisions. Listed below are some of the most common buying behaviours we have seen in this generation so far.
So where will your business find this generation?
Mobile and Online Shopping
Having been raised using online shopping has become a significant part of Gen Zs buying behaviour. A recent study conducted by the national retail federation in 2021 found that 77% of gen z shoppers prefer to shop online, with a further 52% claiming to Internet shop at least once a week. Along with the rise of mobile shopping apps, internet shopping is much more convenient due to the fact you can purchase a product from anywhere at any time. Gen Z also use the internet to compare products and prices as well as read reviews on products before purchasing and many websites offer this, which is why online shopping may appeal to them more as there are endless options to compare and choose from. Although Gen Z loves internet shopping, they still love the in-store shopping experience, therefore they appreciate a brand that can offer a seamless shopping experience across all their platforms, where similar services and products can be found on both.
Studies have shown that gen z spends over 4 hours a day on social media, so it comes as no surprise that social media can hugely impact their buying behaviours as they spend a lot of time on social media outlets including Instagram, TikTok and YouTube. These platforms allow them to discover new products due to the rise of social media influencers and the TikTok shop, where content creators are sponsored by brands to promote specific products. Gen Z often look up to these individuals such as Molly-Mae and Emma Chamberlain as they can offer fashion tips as well as provide recommendations on particular lifestyle products. This is more effective than traditional advertising as influencers can build relationships with their followers who will then invest in products they sponsor with gen z being the most influenced consumers.
Having grown up in an age where we are noticing the negative impacts our behaviours are having on the planet; Gen z have become more socially conscious consumers where they now take environmental and ethical impacts into consideration when purchasing products. Today, we are seeing Gen Zs moving away from fast fashion brands and instead, they are now researching and looking into brands that are more sustainable in their practices, even though these brands have a higher price tag. For those Gen Zers who may not have the budget to shop with sustainable brands, they are increasingly buying more second-hand products on resale sites such as Vinted, Depop and eBay as well as using second-hand vintage and charity shops which also lessen their impact on the environment due to giving products a second life. This shows that Gen Z is a generation that is willing to change in order to make the world better.
When it comes to shopping Gen Z values personalised products and experiences that are unique to them, this can be everything from physical products to the marketing aspects of brands so they have no hesitation in providing brands with their data so that they can provide this. Personalisation can take the form of personalised emails naming the individual directly, and providing product recommendations based on past purchases and customised content. It’s been found that 60% of Gen Z consumers are more likely to purchase products from a brand if they offer personalisation, so it's hugely important that brands adopt this strategy.
So are Gen Z all that different in their shopping behaviours when compared to their millennial predecessors? Stats show that they stand out as being more tech-driven, and socially conscious and they enjoy personalisation. It is therefore extremely important that brands understand the needs of gen z so that they can meet them and acquire them as customers we can see that Gen Z don’t just choose to shop with any brand they come across and instead they expect much more from brands than any other previous generation.