While Millennials still hold the most purchasing power in the US, Gen Z is set to outpace them in the next decade (Business Insider), which makes reaching Gen Z imperative for marketers to succeed. Here at Simon/Myers, our focus is on helping our clients win at every stage of the consumer journey, whether physical or digital, and while high-level Gen Z statistics abound, we wanted to dig deeper into every stage of their purchase journey to understand what truly makes them tick.
So we conducted a proprietary study to understand where they’re purchasing, what matters most to them when purchasing, and what pitfalls marketers need to avoid. We performed a quantitative online survey across a sample size of 549 respondents, and also conducted qualitative video interviews with 15 respondents, all aged 18-25. While some findings were more surprising than others, one key takeaway was clear: Successfully marketing to Gen Z is more nuanced than you may think.
Check out three of our key research insights below, and download our whitepaper for a deeper dive into our research findings!
Gen Z Cares More About Privacy Than Personalization
Personalization is a buzzy tactic these days, but for Gen Z, we found that they care more about their privacy being protected than receiving hyper-personalized ads. Highly sensitive to the data privacy breaches they’ve seen affect older generations, they’re concerned about how and where their data is being used, and many find hyper-personalized targeting invasive.
Where to reach Gen Z depends on the Product Category
While emerging social platforms like TikTok are front-of-mind for marketers trying to reach Gen Z, we found that Gen Z is still researching and purchasing products across a variety of platforms. Ultimately, the best place to reach Gen Z is highly dependent on product category, with standard platforms like Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube still playing a significant role in some cases, and newer platforms like TikTok, Twitch and Discord leading the way in others.
Gen Z Still Cares About In-Store Shopping
Gen Z is often thought of as a generation of digital natives and online shoppers. While this is accurate, we also found that this doesn’t mean they don’t care about in-store shopping experiences. In fact, many Gen Z respondents indicated a desire to increase their in-store shopping coming out of the pandemic. They see in-store shopping as an opportunity to unplug, socialize and find instant gratification, and marketers need to understand their preferences when designing in-store experiences.