Gen Z shoppers are radically changing the face of retail and pushing brands to be more authentic. According to a recent article in Newsweek, the Gen Z generation has a buying power of more than $140 billion. Retailers should pay attention to these four ways they are flexing their consumer muscle in the market:
- Redefining Value Shopping
Gen Z shoppers seek brands that mirror their personal values and support social causes such as racial and gender equality or environmental protections. They are more likely to buy from companies that are transparent and vocal about their positions and are quick to punish brands that don’t take a stand or hold beliefs that differ from their own. “Gen Z isn’t just buying a product, they’re buying into a brand, and they want to feel a deeper connection to that brand through their shared values,” says Jasmine Enberg, an Insider Intelligence principal analyst.
- Buying Via Social Media and Influencers
Gen Z spends about 3-hours a day on social media, more than any other group, so it’s not surprising they like to shop where they go to socialize and find news and entertainment. Many Gen Z shoppers conduct their product research on social media and tend to follow the advice of individual influencers rather than larger online companies.
- Merging Digital and In-Store Experiences
Three-quarters of Gen Zers shop on their smartphones—more than any other generation. But they still seek out in-person experiences too. Jumping between digital and physical storefronts puts pressure on brands to be just as agile. For instance, while in stores, Gen Z shoppers like to scan items on their phones to check out through the brand’s app, receive personalized discounts or coupons on their mobile devices, and scan QR codes on shelves to learn more about a product.
- Finding New Ways to Pay
Gen Zers aren’t just shopping differently. They are also paying differently and becoming increasingly reliant on alternative options like “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) services and peer-to-peer payment apps. BNPL providers, like Klarna and Afterpay, offer consumers a modern-day version of layaway at online checkouts in which the bill can be paid in installments—often for zero interest. By the end of 2022, 44% of Gen Z will have used one of these credit services in the past 12 months, predicts eMarketer.