“Gen Z have an annual estimated global spend power of $200bn, and an indirect parental spend power of $3 trillion. By the end of 2020, Gen Z were forecast to be the largest group of consumers globally, but with an 8 second attention span, compared to 12 seconds of a Millennial, brands must not only capture their attention, but fight to keep it too.” Josh Rathour, CEO UNiDAYS
Gen Z are a hyper-informed, hyper-connected consumer, who expect customised personalised products, services AND value, across every device, every platform, AND whose real world and digital existence are basically one of the same. Brands must urgently connect with this unfamiliar, digital-native consumer who is defining social commerce. They live and breathe social media, instant messaging, video games and live-streaming - often all at the same time. Gen Z are the ultimate early adopters, and we see their habits now influencing the behaviors of Millennials and Generation X too, and even the younger generations following them. They are the most influential but elusive consumers in history. Many marketers find this new world order daunting, but it represents great possibility.
Most students spend about 10 hours online each day, but that doesn’t mean they want constant connection. Instead, Generation Z prioritizes digital privacy and is more suspicious of handing over personal data to large corporations that may sell or exploit it. This is likely because Gen Z grew up surrounded by technology. While they’re somewhat reliant on its convenience, they’re skeptical of its downsides and disadvantages.
Gen Z members strongly value digital privacy. Fifty-eight percent are skeptical of Facebook, while 78 percent only allow certain apps to access their locations. Zoomers will stop supporting brands that sell their data.
Thirty-two percent of Gen Z wants to find dream careers they enjoy, not just meaningless jobs with pay-checks. They’re more likely to attend college than members of previous generations. As of 2018, 57 percent of 18- to 21-year-olds were enrolled in a two- or four-year college. But universities aren’t the only career paths that young people are pursuing. More than 50 percent of Gen Z members are open to exploring nontraditional forms of education in lieu of four-year degrees. Seventy percent say they want to create their own education journey, while less than 25 percent believe that a four-year bachelor’s degree is the only way to obtain lucrative employment.
Generation Z spends about 10 hours per day online or about 74 percent of their free time. Eighty-nine percent use anywhere from 1-10 apps daily. Ninety-five percent of teens currently own or have regular access to mobile smartphones, and 66 percent use multiple devices at one time.
When it comes to online shopping, 64 percent use their devices just to browse products, 59 percent to compare prices, 58 percent research product reviews, 52 percent check for item availability, and 46 percent search for store locations. Sixty percent prefer to use desktop computers when making purchases.
Students firmly believe their generation can improve the world through positive action and effort. This demographic is more open-minded than previous generations. Gen Zers want fewer confrontations and more productive discussions, and they’re more likely than millennials to want to hear a diverse range of opinions.
This empathy spills over into various aspects of the Gen Z lifestyle. Thirty-two percent of Gen Zers donate money to charities, while 26 percent of teens ages 16-19 volunteer regularly. Even as the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered businesses across the U.S. in 2020, three out of four members of Gen Z gave financial aid to friends, family members, or nonprofit groups. Ten percent of zoomers hope to create change by starting their own nonprofit organizations or groups.
Gen Z prefers to use mobile devices to connect with charities and businesses involved with important causes. Charities should have mobile-friendly platforms and apps that simplify the donation process.
Because zoomers spend about 10 hours a day using mobile devices, connecting with them on social media through engaging and meaningful storytelling is crucial. To engage with zoomers, it’s important for brands to establish and build trust and authenticity. Zoomers prefer seeing visual media to help them understand how businesses, nonprofit groups, or charities are giving back.
Gen Z care deeply about a brand or organization’s overall mission and charitable contributions. Sixty percent will support businesses that stand up for causes they care about. This is why authenticity is so important to Gen Z, who may refuse to support companies that advertise unrealistic lifestyle or beauty standards. They’re drawn to diverse and inclusive marketing campaigns that feature models who look like they do.
The UNiDAYS platform is a great place to connect with Gen Z by sharing the latest discounts, deals, contests, and giveaways your brand is offering. Create a new account and build your brand page to get started.
This academic year will also be like none other. But for brands (and students), that’s a good thing.
Brands should major on back-to-school marketing with Gen Z
For Gen Z, it’s sun’s out, mask’s off. Kind of. In mid-May, the CDC announced that fully vaccinated Americans could resume pre-pandemic activities. As such,...