Ecommerce trends: 3 key trends shaping Gen Z shopper behaviour

Digital natives want to ‘buy into better’, with those aged between 16- 24 looking to make progressive, environmentally progressive purchases (and are happy to trade their data for a good deal) according to new research.

The report, from Shopper marketing agency Zeal Creative, looked into the next generation’s shopper behaviour, as well as advice for brands on how to best engage with this audience.

The ‘Gen Z: Buying into Better’ report involved in-depth interviews, online qualitative and online quantitative questions amongst a total of 915 Gen Z shoppers. It explored what, how and why this generation, now in their late teens and early twenties, buy.

Findings revealed key differences to their millennial cousins, as well as the important role that the complex cultural context they are coming of age in impacts on their shopping habits.

The overarching finding from the research was that there is a noticeable desire amongst this generation to buy into better. This is backed up by three key trends identified by the research.

Pursuit of progressive

A proliferation of digital information and social inspiration has thrust progressive lifestyles into the spotlight, and everyday wellness and self-improvement is now a key part of shopper behaviour.

When asked which of the following they had bought to better themselves, 73% said food products, 62% said gym or sport activities and 50% said drinks products.

Purchase with purpose

Nearly half of Gen Z shoppers (46%) are buying more environmentally friendly products compared to this time last year. In addition, 66% believe their individual actions can help save the planet.

Brands such as Patagonia were lauded for their brand activism and there was a wider sense from those questioned that brands need to lead the way in acting ethically.

“It definitely needs to be driven by brands, they need to highlight the issue and then it’s something you can buy into.” (Male aged 21 – 24)

Pragmatic but positive

Still children during the last recession, the research revealed the extent to which Gen Z has been hardened by the economic turbulence they grew up in. Nearly three quarters (74%) admitted to living frugally in some areas so that they can spend more money on things they like.

Attitudes to brand loyalty are shifting too, with over half (58%) saying they are happy to switch between brands based on what’s new and interesting.

This generation is also much more switched on and pragmatic around value exchange too, with 61% happy to submit personal data in return for rewards and offers and nearly half (42%) saying they would submit more data if it meant greater rewards.

Key take-aways for brands

·      How can your products fit the needs of shoppers seeking self-improvement?

·      Can you shift from being a product to being more life-style led?

·      How can shopper marketing empower Gen Z with a sense of purpose?

·      Can you better bring purposeful stories to life within shopper environments?

·      Are you adequately rewarding Gen Z shoppers for sharing data?

·      Are you employing promotional marketing to keep Gen Z shoppers interested and engaged?

Commenting on the research, Callum Saunders, Head of Planning at ZEAL Creative says: “Our research gives some fascinating insight for brands looking to reach Gen Z shoppers. These informed shoppers are actively seeking hacks to become the best version of themselves and buying into progressive, wellness focused products.

“They’re conscientious consumers that want to effect positive change in the world, for whom purchases reflect purpose. In addition, they’ve been hardened by uncertainty, which has shaped them into pragmatic shoppers who are redefining notions of value.

“The way this generation shops is driving real change and for brands gearing up for Gen Z, this heralds unique and exciting opportunities.” 

As the UK’s most effective shopper marketing agency, Zeal Creative delivers multi award winning campaigns for brands including Nestlé, Kelloggs, Pringles, McCain and Rubicon.

With unrivalled insight and expertise, Zeal Creative helps bring brands to life, with campaigns that engage, inspire and motivate consumers into action at key moments on the Path to Purchase.


This article was originally published in:

Photo by Gyorgy Bakos on Unsplash

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