Gen Z grew up in a digitally native world; consuming nearly 23 hours of video content a week, they are far more likely to shop online than in store. Previous generations categorize retail as two separate experiences: in-store and online. Gen Z-ers don’t make that distinction; they expect a seamless and highly personalized experience across social media, e-commerce, brick and mortar, and branded content. From playlists to groceries, everything is highly curated and personalized to their tastes.
There are two main things retailers should know about Gen Z: first, they’re financially conservative. They invest wisely, and have tools at their disposal which allow them to make informed purchasing decisions, meaning that retailers need to deliver a higher value for the purchase. Second is that Gen Z places a larger emphasis on authenticity and individuality. To create brand value, retailers must build a personalized experience and offer merchandise that is unique to their consumer.
Value-driven purchasing is particularly strong among Gen Z. It is no longer enough to have a great product, brands must also have strong values that speak to their audience. Gen Z favors brands that wield their influence to support political, cultural, and social causes—they’re looking to align themselves with brands that share their personal values.