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Buying habits of Generation Z

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Some still think that Generation Z is too young to possess high purchasing power. Come on, Gen Zers were just kids yesterday, were they not?.. In fact, zoomers already make up a huge part of solvent consumers, fully capable of earning and spending money as they please. At the same time, some of them still remain underage, but even minor zoomers have their purchasing needs and also strongly influence their parents’ buying decisions. All this makes Generation Z one of the most attractive target audiences for brands and highly profitable consumers. 

Actually, according to estimations, there are already more Gen Z representatives than there are their senior predecessors from previous generations of Millennials and Baby Boomers. Here is what a zoomer herself and an Arizona State University marketing student Madeline Skrovan told Forbes: “This generation makes up about 40% of the current global population. Actually, in 2023 74 million people in the U.S. will be in Gen Z, which will make it the largest generation of all, so reaching them would be extremely beneficial to companies.”

So don’t underestimate the young generation. Better take them into account and start selling to them as soon as possible so as not to miss the profit. This article will help you learn more about Generation Z, their consumer behavior and buying habits. Gen Z has lots of peculiarities that influence how they perceive brands and their ads, choose products and services.


Generation Z, Gen Z, zoomers – sometimes they can also be referred to as iGens or even post-millennials. They were born between 1997 and 2009, although different researchers may name slightly different dates here. Also, the time gap may vary depending on the country and its speed of development. It matters because, in general, you can describe Gen Z as a generation that has never lived in a world that wasn’t technology-driven. Zoomers have learned about computers and smartphones very early in their lives. They also don’t know a world that doesn’t have the Internet and where it is not (relatively) widely accessible.

When compared with previous generations of Millennials and Baby Boomers, Gen Z is described as “stressed and depressed”, but also its representatives are considered to be better educated and behaved, according to The Economist.

Gen Z is also more ethnically concerned and values diversity. Also, it is the generation that is the most familiar with gender-neutral pronouns. 

One of the greatest stresses for Zoomers was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic: they feel that the whole thing made it more difficult for them to achieve their educational and career goals, as well as hindered their relationships.

The study conducted at Stanford’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences shows that Generation Z is “a highly collaborative cohort that cares deeply about others and has a pragmatic attitude about how to address a set of inherited issues like climate change.” 


As a result of the pragmatic approach to money and education that Gen Z adopts, their consumer characteristics tend to reflect these traits.

Also, Generation Z representatives are technologically adept, driven by a sense of social responsibility, and have an unwavering determination to stand out from the crowd.

The following consumer behavior is usually typical for Gen Z:

  • They possess a discerning consumer eye when it comes to making purchases, they do their research of products, services, and brands for good.
  • Rather than becoming devoted followers of brands, they prefer to hunt for the best deals after researching their options.
  • Even more than Millennials, this generation places great emphasis on brand responsibility when making purchasing decisions.

Gen Z is heavily present on social media, it’s a generation that was born into the world where such platforms had already existed, so it’s no surprise that Zoomers are more likely to shop via social media than any other generation members.

Zoomers make decisions based on more than just the dollar value – they are very aware of product quality and ethical practices. To appeal to this generation’s wallet, businesses must strive for a holistic balance between price-consciousness and providing outstanding products that come from ethically sound sources.

Here are the preferences Gen Zers tend to show when shopping:

  • Surprisingly, Gen Z likes shopping in-store. It also loves online shopping, but offline is also well-liked by it.
  • Zoomers welcome shop assistants’ help at offline stores.
  • Gen Z has a heightened appreciation for impressive customer service and maintains an uncompromising standard when it comes to product quality. This generation’s standards have set the bar higher for brands.
  • They are seeking unique shopping experiences that cater to their own tastes; tailor-made and utterly personalized.

The survey results show that the top 4 factors that impact Gen Z’s preferences for shopping channels are: product choice, availability, convenience, and value.

Also marketers and brand owners should not forget that Generation Z is proving to be more influential in the consumer market than their spending power may imply. Their influence over their parents’ shopping habits and wider product trends make them major influencers of today’s purchasing decisions – making this generation an important target for businesses seeking maximum ROI.


When it comes to selecting a brand to buy from, Generation Z prioritizes three major aspects – affordability, authenticity, and transparency – more so than their older counterparts. Here are some figures describing Zoomers’ preferences the research revealed:

  • Gen Z shoppers prioritize affordability when making purchase decisions, with 62% citing this factor as significantly influencing their buying choices compared to the 53% average across all demographics.
  • Zoomers are more likely to consider brand authenticity when making decisions – 32% place it as a priority – compared with 24% overall.
  • Generation Z is more conscious of the qualities and values behind brands than other generations, with 25% emphasizing brand transparency compared to the overall population’s 16%. 
Factors Important to Purchasing Decisions


Gen Z is a generation of tech-savvy consumers who interact with brands through social media platforms on a daily basis, the research shows.

For Gen Z, connecting with brands

Zoomer marketer Madeline Skrovan shares her thoughts about engaging with brands on social media with Forbes: “Brands can do at least two things to best engage Gen Z: reach them through social media and align with their progressive way of thinking. Brands that do a great job of engaging Gen Z online are Nike and Duolingo. Nike is arguably one of the most popular brands in the world. They obviously don’t struggle with reaching consumers, but they continue to engage with my generation online”.

And once again about the values: Gen Z highly appreciates it when a brand’s course aligns with their own, it is more likely to select and buy the products provided by a highly ethical brand. The research revealed that Generation Z is leading the way when it comes to taking action: over 45% have boycotted businesses, and 36% agree companies should be vocal about their social and political beliefs.

Madeline Skrovan elaborates on that: 

“It is also important to look at what Gen Z is passionate about. It’s been found that my generation strives to be socially and environmentally responsible and are self-aware, mental health enthusiasts. We are more demanding, driven to succeed, and ambitious. We value diversity and equality, family and success, and we worry about terrorism, gun violence and the economy. We are a generation for the people, and we tend to gravitate toward brands that align with beliefs similar to our own. If a brand can showcase that they stand with similar things we do, then they’re in a really great spot to reach members of Generation Z and earn our loyalty as consumers”.


Zoomers are the first when it comes to shopping via mobile: 74% of young people aged between 18 and 24 choose mobile over other options when buying something.

And when speaking of the platforms where they search for information that will help them make a purchase, YouTube can be named the winner. 47% of Gen Z research products with the help of YouTube videos. Other popular platforms for this purpose are Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok.

In fact, not only Zoomers but also Millennials and Baby Boomers prefer YouTube over other social media platforms for their brand and product research: 

  • 29% of consumers prefer YouTube;
  • 21% choose Facebook;
  • 10% stick to Instagram.


The Consumer Culture Report highlights how Generation Z takes an approach in placing emphasis on products that are associated with electronics and technology (52%), which comes first, followed by health & wellness (37%) and cosmetics & personal care (36%) spheres. For comparison, you can see what products do Gen X buy: Millennials’ top option is travel and experiences sphere, followed by the home goods and furniture one.

Now, let’s dive deeper into purchasing habits of Gen Z and the categories they prefer.


Even if you’re not a marketer or a researcher, you’d probably guess what are Gen Z buying the most: smartphones, laptops, other gadgets. Generation Z has a deep connection with technology and gaming. Youngsters are willing to invest in tech goods that enhance their digital experiences – from smartphones, game consoles, and wearable trackers like Fitbit’s and Apple watches. 

Statistics reveal the extent of this commitment: almost two-thirds of Gen Z males say they identify with gaming being an integral part of who they are. In total, Zoomers have spent an impressive $1.2 million on gaming-related products for the last year.


Zoomers are showing a more proactive approach to their mental health than previous generations. They look up to well-known figures such as Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift, and Meghan Markle for their transparency in discussing issues related to their mental wellness.

Gen Zers are not as likely to indulge in fast food compared to other generations, although 62% of them have eaten at McDonald’s at least once during the past half a year. 

They are conscientious consumers who prioritize health, ethical sourcing and environmental protection when it comes to their food. They’re not afraid of experimentation either – looking for novel plant-based remedies as part of a holistic approach to wellness. Ultimately, Gen Zers want assurance that what they eat is free from any kind of harm – ecological or otherwise.


Understanding the buying habits of Generation Z is not just about observing trends but about decoding the values and technologies that influence their purchasing decisions. Here are key insights into the buying habits of Generation Z:

  • Digital natives with a conscience. At the heart of the buying habits of Generation Z is their status as true digital natives. This generation has not only grown up in a technology-saturated world but also exhibits a deep-rooted concern for social and environmental issues. Their purchasing decisions are heavily influenced by the digital user experience and the ethical stance of brands, making them more likely to patronize companies that demonstrate a commitment to values they hold dear. For brands, this means that the buying habits of Gen Z require a strong online presence that communicates authenticity and purpose.
  • Seeking authenticity and transparency. Transparency and authenticity form the cornerstone of the buying habits of Generation Z. This demographic is adept at using digital tools to research products and brands, looking beyond marketing hype to understand the real value and ethics behind their purchases. They value honest communication and are drawn to brands that can articulate their purpose and practices clearly. The importance of authenticity in the buying habits of Generation Z cannot be overstated, as it directly influences their trust and loyalty to a brand.
  • The influence of social media and peer reviews. Social media platforms are integral to the buying habits of Generation Z, serving as both a marketplace and a forum for brand discovery and evaluation. This generation values the opinions of their peers and influencers, often turning to platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok for reviews and recommendations. The role of social media in the buying habits of Generation Z underscores the need for brands to engage in genuine and interactive ways, leveraging influencers and creating content that resonates with this audience’s values and interests.


The modern consumer search for information takes a strikingly different approach than in the past. Gen Zers still sometimes turn to sources like Google, blogs, or brands’ official websites, but it’s not their priority option. Rather, their primary source for research is social media platforms. This shows how influential these sites are in shaping opinions and informing decisions of Zoomers.

Content creators on social media have become powerful and trustworthy in the eyes of Generation Z. According to statistics, the majority (58%) of Gen Zers have made at least one purchase based on a recommendation from such influential persons – outnumbering that same figure amongst Baby Boomers and Generation Xers who stand at 38% and 46%, respectively. With this aspect in mind, it is clear why marketers are placing greater emphasis on using influencer campaigns as their key to success when targeting Generation Z consumers.

As you have already read above, almost half of Zommers use YouTube to learn about products, their details, and influential people’s opinions about them. Also, approximately 40% of Gen Z consumers use social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram when they need to find things – not Google, and it’s what Google’s own research shows.

So when it comes to marketing to Generation Z, social media platforms are the places to be. This demographic spends quite a lot of time on social media apps: 64% of them visit these platforms more than once a day (compared to 47% overall), and 54% spend 2 hours or more on them. 2 hours are more than enough to learn quite a lot about brands and products – they just have to deliver the information natively and authentically to be highlighted. Social media influencers are of great importance with this task.

Another challenge for a brand owner or a marketer is to discover the right influencers to promote the brand to Gen Z and do it effectively. The Famesters influencer marketing agency is your main assistant here: we manage influencer marketing campaigns from A to Z, from doing market research to reporting to you. We have 5+ years of experience and a full base of relevant, loyal, and reliable influencers who perform well for the brands we work with. To start winning the hearts and wallets of Gen Z now, contact us via [email protected]!


Generation Z is a tech-savvy and socially aware generation. Having grown up in a world dominated by technology and digital media, they are quite familiar with computers, smartphones, and internet usage. 

They highly value diversity and tend to use gender-neutral pronouns. They are more educated than previous generations and are concerned about issues like climate change. 
However, they also face more stress, partly due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their education and career goals. 

They also put a lot of emphasis on their mental health and are more likely to gravitate towards healthy eating habits and wellness practices.

Generation Z shows a pragmatic approach to money and financial management. They are very discerning in their purchasing decisions, always doing their research before buying products or services. They are price-conscious but also place great emphasis on product quality and ethical practices. While there’s no specific information in the text about their savings, it’s clear that they are thoughtful about their spending, which could imply good saving habits as well.

Gen Z invests a lot of time on social media platforms and other digital media, often engaging with brands and influencers. They are also keen on gaming and spend significant amounts of money on related products. Gen Z takes an active interest in global issues like climate change and societal values, and may also spend time advocating for these causes. They appreciate unique, tailor-made shopping experiences that cater to their individual tastes.

Gen Z appreciates authentic and transparent content. They prefer content that aligns with their own values and demonstrates social responsibility. They often turn to social media influencers for product recommendations and are more likely to engage with brands that showcase similar values. They are particularly responsive to content that is shared on social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok.

Influencer marketing for Gen Z is unique because of how deeply this generation trusts and interacts with influencers. Over half of Gen Z has made a purchase based on a recommendation from an influencer. They are more likely to research products and services via social media platforms rather than traditional search engines or brand websites. Influencers who share Gen Z’s progressive mindset and can effectively use social media platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram are in a great position to engage this demographic. Influencer marketing, therefore, has a significant impact on their purchasing decisions and brand loyalty.

Social media platforms are integral to shaping the buying habits of Generation Z, serving not just as tools for connecting with friends but also as vital sources of information for brand discovery and product research. Gen Z consumers frequently use platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube to learn about new products, read reviews, and see how brands align with their values. This generation’s reliance on social media emphasizes the need for brands to engage authentically and creatively on these platforms.

Ethical considerations are paramount in the buying habits of Generation Z. Zoomers are more likely than others to research a brand’s social and environmental impact before making a purchase. They prefer to spend their money on products and services from companies that demonstrate a commitment to ethical practices, sustainability, and positive social impact. Brands that transparently communicate their values and practices are more likely to win the loyalty of Gen Z consumers.

To align with the buying habits of Generation Z, brands should focus on building a strong online presence, engaging authentically on social media, and demonstrating their commitment to ethical values and transparency. It’s also crucial for brands to leverage technology to create personalized and immersive shopping experiences, both online and offline. By understanding and adapting to the unique preferences and values of Gen Z, brands can develop long-lasting relationships with this influential consumer segment.

Technology plays a pivotal role in shaping the buying habits of Generation Z, not just as a tool for communication, but as an integral part of their purchasing journey. This generation uses technology to research products extensively before making a purchase, relying on online reviews, social media platforms, and brand websites to gather information. Additionally, Gen Z’s comfort with technology drives their preference for shopping through various channels, including online marketplaces, brand-specific apps, and social media shopping features. The seamless integration of technology in their daily lives means that brands need to offer innovative, tech-driven shopping experiences to successfully engage Gen Z consumers.


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