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Decoding Gen Z shopping habits: These elusive consumers are meticulous researchers and decision makers—here’s what they want

by | Nov 17, 2023 | Public Relations

Figuring out how to engage Gen Z consumers has been a puzzle for brands and retailers since the sector emerged, and if anything, it’s becoming more complicated. Every little bit of insight helps, and new research from product visualization tech firm Nfinite offers some new perceptions, such as that Gen Z has proven to be thorough in decision-making, consulting various sources before making product and brand choices, and adept at navigating multiple channels, including social media.

Understanding Gen Z is vital because their purchasing power is growing quickly—and of course they will soon be the dominant group (at which point we’ll be scratching our heads about Gen Alpha’s habits). The firm’s new survey and report, Gen Z Shopper Insights: Understanding Generational Sentiment, based on a survey of 1,000 Gen Zers across the US, show that Gen Z shoppers exhibit a keen sense of discernment, demonstrating the thoroughness of their purchasing process. 

Decoding Gen Z shopping habits: These elusive consumers are meticulous researchers and decision makers—here’s what they want

Key findings include:

  • 96 percent rely on comparing prices and features on e-commerce websites.
  • 95 percent scrutinize product descriptions, specs, and online reviews.
  • 94 percent engage with product imagery and videos.
  • 90 percent say personalization is important.

As digital natives in an age where social media rules, it is no surprise that 84 percent of Gen Z consumers have made multiple purchases through social media ads and content, and this trend shows no signs of slowing down.

  • 85 percent of Gen Z individuals report that YouTube is pivotal in influencing their purchase decisions.
  • Instagram closely follows, with 78 percent of Gen Z attributing their purchase choices to this platform.
  • TikTok isn’t far behind, influencing 73 percent of Gen Z purchase decisions.
  • 85 percent of Gen Z actively engage with influencer marketing and brand collaborations on social media, with varying frequency.

Decoding Gen Z shopping habits: These elusive consumers are meticulous researchers and decision makers—here’s what they want

“Understanding Gen Z is pivotal for retailers and brands as they wield growing purchasing power,” said Nfinite founder and CEO Alexandre de Vigan, in a news release. “Our survey highlights the meticulous nature of Gen Z’s purchasing decisions, emphasizing the challenge for retailers and the importance of adapting strategies to cater to this discerning demographic. It also underscores the power of imagery in capturing their attention and trust, making it imperative for brands to harness the visual aspects of their products to resonate with Gen Z’s preferences.”

Decoding Gen Z shopping habits: These elusive consumers are meticulous researchers and decision makers—here’s what they want

The influence of social media on Gen Z’s shopping habits underscores its critical role for brands seeking to engage this tech-savvy generation. Navigating the intricate landscape of Gen Z shopping preferences demands agility and innovation on the part of retailers. Some key strategies include harnessing the power of social media, providing detailed product information, including reviews, imagery, videos, and descriptions, and offering competitive pricing and special promotions.

Download the full report here.

In July 2023, Nfinite surveyed 1,019 consumers in the United States, to ask their opinions on product visuals and online shopping. Respondents’ ages ranged from 18-29, (413 male, 606 female).

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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