Will it always be about price for Gen Z?
In a session at Shoptalk in Las Vegas, Lynn Gillis, principal at IRI, presented some insights into the shopping habits of Generation Z which could inform brands and retailers hoping to win them as customers now and in the future.
“I guarantee you that this group of people are not miniature Millennials,” Ms. Gillis said. “In fact, they are an entirely new Zeneration and I guarantee you they will change everything.”
Ms. Gillis said that Generation Z’s average $17 per week allowance adds up to an aggregate $44 billion of purchasing power. While kids getting allowances isn’t a new development, Generation Zers are distinctive with regard to the liberty with which they spend. About 59 percent of them have no family rules on how they spend their money.
Gen Z may, however, be getting more lessons about financial responsibility than generations before them because of how easy it is to spend.
“They want everything instantly,” said Ms. Gillis. “One of the things their parents are doing to try and help balance that is to teach them the value of waiting and the value of money.”
Ms. Gillis showed a video in which a young Gen Zer described spending time with her mother grocery shopping and being taught about financial responsibility during the process — much different, Ms. Gillis believes, than how Millennials were taught to treat money.
“Those kids know the value of money,” said Ms. Gillis. “And that shows up in terms of what motivates their buying.”
Two-thirds of Gen Zers said price was their major influencer in buying. Other generational characteristics Ms. Gillis explored as prime influencers of Gen Z buying behavior were diversity, tech-savviness and overall awareness of the dangers of the world.
And the older portion of Generation Z is having a big impact on areas like grocery shopping as they reach the age where more may be starting families. Half of 18-to-21-year olds are participating in family grocery shopping, and one in five are their family’s primary grocery shopper.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you agree that characteristics like being price-oriented and appreciative of the value of money will define Gen Z? How should retailers and brands respond to Gen Z’s tendency to be more financially responsible?