How does Gen Z shop?

October 28, 2020

By Derya Yildirim

With Gen Z’s annual purchasing power estimated at 143 billion, Gen-Z customers are growing in buying power. Currently, they comprise 40% of the global consumer population and have additional influence on what their parents purchase. These findings make them a powerful consumer target group for brands and marketers to account for.

Reaching Gen-Z consumers has to be done using different methods, as Gen Z’s purchases have shifted due to the onset of technology. Consequently, Gen Z has spread its efforts across multiple purchasing channels.

Gen Z can be considered the "mobile-first generation," with a 60% increase in the use of mobile phones compared to previous generations. This has also resulted in the use of mobile apps for shopping purposes, with social media being a catalyst for brand discovery: 78% of Gen Z say social media is their go-to resource for learning about companies. Additionally, 51% of Gen-Z consumers seek out discounts on their phones. Besides using their mobile device to seek out emerging brands and the best prices, more than 80% of Gen Z have made purchases using their phone. Yet, their purchase decision relies on more than brand exposure, with over 86% of Gen Z researching product reviews, and 53% being influenced by social media comments. As such, mobile and social media activity constitutes a big part of Gen Z’s purchase cycle.

Despite the vast influence of mobile, only 13% of Gen-Zers prefer making purchases through mobile. In-store shopping is still their most desired channel for shopping, with over 81% of Gen-Z consumers preferring to purchase products in stores. This is due to their appreciation for the ability to interact with the product, multiple payment methods, personalized shopping experiences (Gen Z love all things personalized), and instant gratification when it comes to being able to receive their purchased item immediately.

As such, Gen Z can be said to appreciate the convenience posed by both online and offline purchase environments. This makes taking an omnichannel approach to marketing essential for business success. To leverage these findings, companies should ensure that online and offline touchpoints are strategically coordinated and placed throughout the customer journey. This translates into businesses being active on platforms widely used by Gen Z (such as Instagram and TikTok), differentiating messaging across these platforms depending on the targeted customer segments, and offering customized experiences (through personalized ads and retargeting efforts).

To gain insight into capturing Gen Z’s attention throughout their consumer journey, don’t hesitate to contact Adolescent!

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