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How are Gen Z shaping the future of technology?

    Download the report: Gen Z spending habits before and during COVID-19

    How are Gen Z shaping the future of technology?

    In an era where technology is embedded in every aspect of our lives, Gen Z stand out for their fluency in all things digital. Where previous generations may...

    In an era where technology is embedded in every aspect of our lives, Gen Z stand out for their fluency in all things digital. Where previous generations may recall a time of encyclopaedias and T9 texting, digital advancements are no revelation for students. In fact, it’s the very fabric of the world they’ve been born into

    They don’t see devices simply as tools, but as an integral part of life. Studying, socialising, relaxing—their relationship with technology is multifaceted and that’s certainly not something brands can afford to overlook

    So, how are Gen Z interacting with tech, what makes them different from other generations and why is this information so important for brands to understand? For the answers to these questions and more, you’ve come to the right place.

    The digital generation has spoken

    Unlike previous generations, Gen Z will often purchase and use a variety of devices for very
    specific purposes. This means their buying decisions are carefully calculated, often long
    before they actually make a purchase.

    • Students are purchasing tech with purpose; for many, that means buying new products for academic support. For example, 49% of Gen Z purchase noise-cancelling headphones to help them concentrate while studying for their final exams.
    • 79% of students buy games consoles to relax, while 39% use them to socialise with friends, highlighting how capable they are of blending leisure and digital socialisation seamlessly.
    • Side hustles and career development are important to Gen Z and their pragmatic approach to tech is evident in their purchasing decisions. More than a quarter of students are buying cameras for side hustles and nearly 1 in 5 for career development.

    What's trending in tech?

    Gen Z are purposeful and value-driven with their tech purchases. They want their gadgets to be long-term investments, with 65% of students saying quality is the most important factor in their buying decisions—the only generation to value it over the price of a product.

    Brand preference is another important theme among this cohort. Apple stands out as a particularly favoured brand, with 73% of Gen Z opting for its smartphones, a choice that reflects students’ affinity for brands that resonate with their values. 

    As the first wave of digital natives, Gen Z are, unsurprisingly, highly receptive to social media

    • 82% believe short-form video content is the most influential factor when buying new tech.
    • 71% of students say influencer content is most likely to persuade them to buy tech.

    They’re not called the ‘digital generation’ for nothing, so for tech success with Gen Z, it’s vital to capture their attention on the channels they love, with the types of content that truly resonate with them.

    They're digitally fluent, so speak the language

    Gen Z’s interaction with tech isn’t just shaping their lifestyles, but also setting the pace for future innovations. Brands should be paying close attention to their habits to remain relevant and win students’ loyalty.

    Juandre Bekker, Industry Lead for Technology at UNiDAYS, commented:

    Brands aiming to resonate with this influential demographic must align themselves with the values, aesthetics and digital fluency that define Gen Z. A strategic partnership with UNiDAYS offers an invaluable opportunity for brands to connect with this pivotal generation. With our deep understanding of Gen Z’s habits and preferences, we provide the perfect platform for brands to authentically engage with and cater to the needs of young consumers.

    So, what can you take away from Gen Z’s shopping patterns and preferences, and how can you apply these insights to your tech strategy?

    • Target Gen Z with content they resonate with. Leverage channels like TikTok and Instagram to produce influencer content and short-form videos that authentically engage and inform students.
    • Align your brand with Gen Z’s priorities. Focus on creating high-quality, aesthetically pleasing products that align with students’ lifestyles and prioritise sustainability and ethical practices.
    • Optimise your student discount incentive programme to give Gen Z that final push towards the conversion line. Young people would rather wait for deals and sales before buying new tech, so give them a solid reason to choose your brand.

    Power up your tech strategy

    As Gen Z continue to navigate the tech landscape, their preferences and behaviours offer valuable insights into the evolving relationship between young consumers and the digital world.

    Craving more? Keep an eye out for the UNiDAYS Q2 Insider Report. Loaded with actionable tech insights to help you seize the student opportunity, this is your guide to maximising brand awareness, revenue and conversions among Gen Z.

    By leveraging UNiDAYS’ reach and expertise, you can supercharge your brand’s engagement with Gen Z. Partner with us to position your brand in front of an audience of 29m+ verified student members and unlock lifetime loyalty from the most tech-savvy generation yet.

    Talk to UNiDAYS

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