5 Stats on Generation Z Buying Habits Marketers Need
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5 Stats on Generation Z Buying Habits Marketers Need

by Jaime Netzer | Jun 11, 2019

Though the oldest members of the Generation Z cohort are just beginning to come of age, their spending power is already undeniable, and marketers who want to remain relevant must understand their unique needs. Gen Z, defined as those born after 1998, command $44 billion in buying power — nothing to scoff at, surely — but by 2020, it's projected they’ll command nearly 40 percent of all consumer shopping. What’s more, 82 percent of parents say their Gen Z offspring influence household spending.

By 2020, Gen Z will command 40% of all consumer shopping.

And Gen Z is online — really, really online: a recent study found that 74 percent of Gen Z members spend five hours or more every day online. Therefore, marketers who want to capture the attention of this generation need to look for them online and find ways to connect with them there, which means catering to their unique preferences. To learn which preferences Gen Z, and many other online demographics share, read Forrester Report: Getting to Know Your Customers. Though they’re not so distant age-wise from the generation currently cornering the market — millennials — Gen Z has buying habits all their own.

We’ve collected a few of the most important stats about Gen Z’s buying habits for marketers to note:

1. 47% of U.S. Gen Z consumers research items on mobile devices while shopping at brick-and-mortar locations.

(Source: Retail Touchpoints)

Gen Z uses their smartphones and tablets as research tools before they set foot in a brick-and-mortar store and while inside it, so retailers need to offer mobile shoppers detailed information about products and services that will help move them down the path to purchase, even if that purchase isn’t online. 

So what do they research? 53% check online for other items they prefer that are not available in the store where they are; 52% compare the retail price with competitors; and 51% search the web for a coupon, discount, or promotion. 

2. 60% of Gen Z folks are more likely than average consumers to hang up if their call isn’t answered in under 45 seconds.

(Source: Business Wire)

Customer care in general is incredibly important, especially on social. Increasingly, social is used by consumers to address customer service issues, and the importance of individualized, timely care will only become more important as Gen Z grows into its buying power.

3. 42% percent of Gen Z respondents in a recent study said they would participate in an online game for a campaign and forty-three percent would write a product review.

(Source: Forbes)

These two numbers tell marketers something important about Gen Z: they’re looking to get involved with brands and even invest their own time and energy into building the reputation of a brand. Creative and engaging social campaigns that invite involvement are likely to play well with Gen Z.

4. 60% of Gen Z shoppers won’t use apps or websites that load slowly or are difficult to navigate.

(Source: Forbes)

Efficiency is definitely the name of the game for Gen Z: a recent survey found that nearly half of those belonging to Gen Z say that the ability to find things quickly is the most important aspect of shopping for them, writes Forbes. Retailers must ensure their online assets run smoothly and are intuitive.

5. 63% of Gen Z members prefer real people to celebrities when it comes to advertisements.

(Source: BazaarVoice)

Gen Z’s preference for real people demonstrates the importance of both transparency and trust to this generation of shoppers. Influencers can still be effective spokespeople for brands targeting Gen Z, but they must be speaking from an authentic place that aligns with the brand’s own values.

Gen Z members are digital natives, meaning they cannot remember a world in which the internet wasn’t constantly available to them, writes Forbes. This is new: many millennials, the generation immediately preceding Gen Z, didn’t have regular (read: quick) internet access until they were well into their teens, and most didn’t have smartphones until after college. Though millennials have wasted no time becoming digitally proficient, the experience of Gen Z is completely different.

So, what's a marketer to do?

By now you’ve heard the statistic claiming the millennial's average attention span is 12 seconds long, but Gen Z has an 8 second attention span. Really! We’re not talking about a generation of attention-deficient people, writes READY Education, but rather a generation with an “eight-second filter.” Therefore, brands do not have any time to waste with Gen Z, and once they’ve captured their attention, they’ll have to keep it by being responsive and engaging.

Technology like Khoros can help brands reduce their response time on social media and capture performance data to create more relevant social media marketing content — both key to courting the Gen Z market. To learn more about this demographic and others, read Forrester Report: Getting to Know Your Customers.


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