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A Look at Gen Z

posted by Professor Marie Driscoll, CFA

Luxury Daily brought together about 100 marketers at its second annual
Luxury Roundtable 2017: Engaging Gens X, Y, & Z on May 3 with more than a dozen panels and keynotes to focus on these younger cohorts and their attitudes towards the consumption of products and services and that overused word, experiences.


In her keynote Emerging Gen Z Powerhouse, The Driving Influence on New Consumer Spending Patterns Farla Efros, president, HRC Retail Advisory, said, “Connected from morning to night, Gen Z is the mini CEO in your house, influencing and driving purchase decisions from apparel and jewelry, to where and what to eat. Their parents have given them the power to be influencers.”

Who influences them? According to Efros, its social media, where their friends top the list at 95% of the time, followed by bloggers at 87%, with top models trailing at 47%. More than 90% of Gen Z have three or more apps running through the day, with more than 50% of this cohort on YouTube and Facebook daily.

YoungPeople.jpgFriends really matter! Efros research reveals that when shopping, 51% of Gen Z take photos that they share with friends via networking and wait for their opinion. Only 20% of Gen Z share photos with their parents, but surprisingly, 60% of Gen Z parents share photos with their children. 60% of Gen Z are influenced by their friends regarding purchase decisions and 62% of Gen Z are influenced by their friends when deciding on returns.  


In-store shopping a must! The good news is that Gen Z is bringing their Millennial and Gen X parents back to the mall. According to Efros, 72% of Gen Z visit the mall monthly and 30% go every week; 56% spend more than 90 minutes at the mall visiting 3-5 shops. They use the internet to research product and go to the mall to touch, try on and with the clear intention to buy (56%). 50% shop with their parents, getting them back in the mall, if only to pay for their Gen Z’s purchases.

Amazon is tops! 50% of Gen Z shop on Amazon monthly, but that compares with 67% of Millennials that place an Amazon order monthly. eBay is the favorite ecommerce website of 35% of Gen Zs surveyed by Efros.

Experience is the zeitgeist. Gen Z are consummate shoppers with access to information and points of sales around the world at their fingertips. This makes them highly demanding in terms of quality, price, and service. Perhaps material satisfaction doesn’t come easy with this level of product intelligence. Efros says they like vintage brands. Gen Z, similar to Millennials, and baby boomers too, are opting for experiences over products, it’s the zeitgeist.

Social pressure and digital tactics win with Gen Z. Where friends shop is instrumental with 89% of this cohort when shopping, second only to window displays (91%). Social media messages impact 63% of shopping decisions. On the technology front, websites and interactive videos influence 79% and 77% of Gen Z shopping, respectively. The good news is the early read on Gen Z is they love shopping (and stuff) and they love shopping in stores.

Topics: fashion industry, fashion merchandising, Fashion News