Stationary shopping or online ordering: What prefers Gen Z?

Autor Jan Lewandowski Jan Lewandowski

GenZ, also known as digital natives or post-millennials, are teenagers and young adults born between 1995 and 2010. In an age in which the internet, social media and smartphones play a central role and cause continuous change, Generation Z is also strongly affected by this. Social interactions are shifting to digital platforms and trends are…

Buying and consumer behavior

Gen Z differs from its predecessors in many ways. Everyday life is characterized by an internet presence. This digital familiarity is clearly visible in their purchasing behavior. 

Online shopping & stationary retail 

Shopping online is a matter of course for members of this generation. Online shopping is more popular than ever and this is not without good reason. Convenience, flexibility and variety when shopping, the young generation’s criticisms, are guaranteed when buying online and are also advertised as such. Clothing and shoes are the frontrunners in online retail with a total European share of 70%. However, digital natives from the new millennium should not simply be reduced to social networks, smartphones and online shopping. Over-the-counter retail is also very much on trend and accounts for the majority of all cosmetics and food products. 

Influence of social media

The use of social media is closely linked to the needs of young adulthood. 94% use it one to three times a day. Platforms such as Instagram, Tiktok or YouTube are often used to communicate their own lifestyles, views, ideals and opinions. People or sites with a particularly wide reach often form their own communities with followers who pursue the same or similar ideals. The interplay between the online flood of information and the search for orientation, which is very present in Gen Z, contributes significantly to the increasing importance of social media. Over time, social media has become the number one trendsetter and has a decisive influence on the purchasing behavior of Generation Z.  

Values and ethics in the shopping cart 

The young generation is also known for its pronounced awareness of sustainability and social justice. 

  • Sustainability: Almost two thirds state that sustainability plays a central role for them when shopping. 
  • Diversity: Expressing their own individuality and diversity is important to the younger generation. 

Basically, it can therefore be said that they prefer brands that promote ethical practices, produce in an environmentally friendly way and demonstrate social responsibility. This naturally places demands on companies. 

Gen Z compliant branding 

To effectively implement Gen Z compliant branding, it is important to understand the unique values, preferences and behaviors of this generation and actively incorporate them into brand strategies. 

Orientation towards new trends

First of all, it is important to be aware that post-millennials are oriented towards the latest trends and that these mainly take place on social media platforms. For e-commerce companies, it is advisable to always be up to date and pay attention to changing trends. 

Social media presence 

It is also important to present yourself in order to address young consumers directly. It is important to meet them with authenticity and transparency, as Gen-Z consumers prefer brands whose actions are in line with their messages. Social justice and sustainability also play a major role, which companies should also communicate openly. However, this open communication should be two-way, because on the one hand, straightforward customer service makes the company more attractive to shoppers, and on the other hand, reviews on social media create a feedback loop that allows the marketing strategy to be refined and ensures that the brand really resonates.

Shaping the interests of Generation Z with Influencers

Effective Gen-Z marketing approaches

The fact that advertising on social media is the most effective way to directly target the purchasing power of Generation Z is largely due to the fact that this generation are heavy users of digital media and have a high affinity for social platforms. 

  1. Influencer marketing 

One of the most popular strategies is influencer marketing, where companies work with individuals (influencers) who have a strong online reach to promote and sell products or services. Since influencers are often seen as trendsetters and can have a strong influence on the purchasing behavior of users, they represent an optimal marketing medium. 

  1. Ad & content design

It is also advantageous to design content and advertising in such a way that young adults feel involved. Belonging plays a major role in Gen Z and therefore also in the character of the media presence. Ultimately, the key to success is to remain flexible, test continuously and react efficiently to Gen Z’s changing trends.

  1. Customization and authenticity

In summary, to effectively target Gen Z, companies need to prioritize authenticity and transparency, actively engage on social media and place values such as sustainability, social justice and inclusion at the heart of their messages and actions. Influencer marketing can be a key tool in this, but with the proviso that real connections are conveyed there. Flexibility and openness to change are also crucial to keep up with the rapidly changing trends and expectations of this generation.