Gen Z has finally arrived to the main stage of the society. How is their shopping behaviors different from Millennials and what kind of business do they buy from? How is this going to impact fashion retail brands and retail store selling?

Gen Z is defined as those people born between 1995 – 2012. With the oldest of them reaching age 24, Millennials are starting to shy away and giving the limelight to the next generation – Gen Z. Gen Z differs from Millennials in many ways. According to Bloomberg, Gen Z will comprise 32 percent of the global population of 7.7 billion and outnumber Millennials in 2019. It is time for businesses to take actions – study infographics; learn more about their mindsets, behaviors and preferences; prepare your brand now to grab this market share before your competitors do.

Millennials vs Gen Z

Gen Z vs Millennials

Millennials vs Gen Z

Gen Z is true digital natives growing up with mobile devices and social media (Youtube is their #1 social media channel). They have shorter attention span and prefer individuality and unique styles they can show off on social media, rather than the brand names. Gen Z prefers being sold a cool PRODUCT (60%) over a cool EXPERIENCE (40%); Millennials prefer the opposite. Experienced the great recessions started in 2008, they are also more frugal and cautious in spending. Their in store purchase behaviors are heavily influenced by technologies: They use mobile apps and its features in retail stores. When it comes to communications while in store, texting is mostly used followed by Snapchat. They are also more socially conscious and would go out of their ways to buy products from businesses which will make “doing good (world peace, sustainability, climate change, energy etc.) and making the world a better place” a center part of their business, not just by giving to charities.

Gen Z Social Media & Mobile App Behaviors

Good news is Gen Z still shop in stores for the convenience and shopping experience it offers. H&M has already been the top apparel choice in their teen ages. H&M has also taken some initiatives such as testing new concept stores and launching new brands that are more luxurious and sophisticated to enhance consumers’ store experience and adapt to their evolving needs. H&M’s Karlaplan new concept store in Stockholm has a contemporary visual appeal without the usual clutter you see at a H&M store.

H&M Karlaplan Concept Store Stockholm
H&M Karlaplan Concept Store in Stockholm, Sweden

Arket is H&M’s luxury brand with a vegetarian café inside. The sore sells beautiful homeware that you could also see at the café area. The café itself will attract new and return customers, keep them longer in the store with the increased likelihood they will shop in the store for clothing, as well as the homeware they saw earlier at the café.

Arket HM Homeware
HM’s Arket Store has a Vegetarian Café and Sells Homeware

Now is time for the retailer to grow with Gen Z as they start entering the work force as young adults. What does these psychographics of Gen Z listed mean for a retailer?:

attention span (8s):
Gen Z want things quick and fresh. So
let’s make fast fashion even faster! And give them the convenience of fast
shipping, plus pick up and return in stores. The digital augmented shopping
experience allows them to quickly find help and solutions with the absence of a
busy sales associate.

and uniqueness:
Gen Z prefer quality and styles that speaks of their
uniqueness and personalities. Their frugal spending habits along with such
styling preference means they will prefer quality over quantity, buy less but
spend on higher quality items and rent or own second hand stylish pieces.

savvy in store shoppers:
mobile apps with near field
communication features, AI virtual try-on apps and intelligent in store digital

Social awareness and socialism: Gen Z will only spend on brands that reflect their values. They will ravenously research a company’s history to ensure it is socially and environmentally conscious, also animal cruelty free.

Gen Z Product vs Experience

Gen Z Ads Attention Span

Gen Z Storytelling and Visual Displays

Gen Z Socially Good Business