As a business, identifying and appealing to your target audience is one of the most important factors for success. This encompasses many different factors, such as age, spending habits, and preferences. However, all of these can be tied to a generation. Gen Z is arguably the most influential generation of consumers at the moment, meaning many businesses can benefit from learning more about their habits.
In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at gen Z – who are they and how do they spend their money.
Who are gen Z?
Generation Z, also known as ‘zoomers’, is a term that refers to the generation of people born between 1996 and 2010 approximately. This means gen Z’ers can range in age from 13-27 as of 2023. Generation Z is preceded by Millennials (1982-1996) and followed by generation Alpha (2010-2024). It’s generally accepted that nowadays different generations occur every 15 years.
Gen Z are characterised by many significant global events during their formative years, including climate anxiety, financial turmoil, the COVID-19 pandemic and, of course, the expansion of the internet and other digital technologies. At the time of writing in America, population research projects that gen Z will be the largest and most ethnically diverse generation in history. For countries with an aging population, such as America’s ‘baby boomer’ generation, this makes gen Z the primary consumer group for many businesses today.
Why companies should be targeting gen Z
Aside from their significant market share, gen Z consumers have many features which make them appealing to businesses. Many are receiving their first pay checks, tasting independence, and putting down deposits on houses. This is testament to their growing spending power. To put it into perspective, it’s estimated that the American gen Z population has around $360 billion in disposable income. Therefore, organisations that can build a loyal customer base from gen Z consumers will likely have a secure source of revenue for years to.
As mentioned above, those from generation Z have grown up alongside many significant developments in communication technologies. Smart phones, social media platforms, streaming services, and video calling being just a few examples. For businesses, this online presence makes gen Z habits easier to track and target.
Through their ability to navigate digital spaces and adapt to change, gen Z have been able to influence generations that have come before them. It sounds like a cliché, but it really is true. Just ask anyone in their 20’s if they’ve had to explain an internet trend or how a piece of new technology works to their parents or grandparents. In this way, gen Z are influencing the outlook and habits of other generations. So, if you can appeal to gen Z, you might also be grabbing the attention of some millennials and baby boomers as well.
Gen Z spending habits
Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as identifying the products that gen Z spend the most money on. Although we can do that. Research shows around 75% of gen Z purchases take place in the fashion sector, 10% higher than millennials. Surprisingly, given their affinity for technology, a recent survey found more than half of gen Zers were more likely to buy groceries in person.
Instead, gen Z spending habits are primarily dictated by what they value in the businesses they buy from, and whether a brand’s values align with their own. A big reason for this is because consumers nowadays can easily research brands and businesses to inform their purchasing decisions. This can even be done in real time thanks to mobile phones. Here are some of the gen Z trends we’ve noticed in recent years.
One of the main concerns of gen Z is the issue of climate change. This leads many to support sustainable practices and expect businesses to make commitments to being environmentally friendly. This means treating their workers well, sourcing recycling materials, and making charitable investments.
Due to these strong moral beliefs, many gen Z shoppers prefer spending money on small independent businesses. Here, they can potentially meet the owner and make a more personal connection. Furthermore, 77% of those surveyed said this was also due to wanting to support the local economy.
Another value held by gen Z consumers is transparency. This stems from the era of sensationalist media coverage, regular scandals, and social injustices that they have grown up in. As such, people belonging to gen Z are often more distrusting of institutions and businesses. They want brand values to be not only referenced but also proven through actions.
The result is that businesses are likely to see more success with marketing strategies that a clear stance. Gen Z are more likely to form a personal connection with a company that is open about its operations.
Quality of life products
Gen Z are some of the most outspoken about taking care of their mental health. As a result, many of them are always looking for ‘gadgets’ to make certain tasks easier. This can encompass many types of products and services, from cooking to fitness and transport. Regardless, if a business can show how it can improve a consumer’s quality of life, this will likely appeal to gen Z.
For businesses to connect with gen Z, the best way is to employ a targeted digital marketing strategy. This supported by research that shows gen Z uses the internet primarily to research products and services they’re interested in, specifically social media platforms. Of these, YouTube is the most popular at 47%, followed by Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok. Therefore, if you could be neglecting a large proportion of the gen Z audience if your business isn’t exploring these marketing channels.
Digital marketing agency Wirral
The main takeaway is that, while gen Z consumers may seem more frugal, they will still buy from businesses they think will provide value. At Deliver, most of us come from this generation, so who better to help your brand connect with them? As a full service digital marketing agency, it’s our job to gain a thorough understanding of who are looking for your products and services. Contact us today.