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Getting to Know Gen Z Consumers

Gen Z consumers demand social acceptance, a strong message, and apparently, wifi.

HRC Retail Advisory President Farla Efros outlined the unique shopping habits of Gen Z (kids age 10-17) in New York City on Monday.

The generation might have been born with a smartphone in their hand, but as Efros explained, they still crave in-store experiences. Here’s a look at five key traits you need to know about Gen Z consumers.

It’s All About the Wifi Signal
According to the study, more than 90 percent of Gen Zers say that a strong wifi signal is important not only to them, but to their overall shopping experience. Efros said charging stations in dressing rooms as well as free wifi in-stores, not just in malls, are important aspects of the shopping experience for Gen Z.

They Shop in Less Than 5 Stores
While Gen Z girls prefer shopping in brick-and-mortar stores, Gen Z boys prefer to shop online, favoring Amazon. Efros said Gen Z girls love fast fashion brands like H&M and Zara, because the brands stay on trend and change up their inventory as quickly as the generation likes to change their clothing.

Gen Z Craves a Social Experience
Gen Z wants less one-on-one time with sales associates. Instead, the study found that Gen Z favors the opinions of friends and followers to that of a real-life sales associate. More than half of Gen Z consumers said they have turned to social media for opinions while shopping. More than 40 percent of respondents said they have made decisions based on feedback from their network, and 21 percent of Gen Z’s said they would make returns based on that feedback.

Gen Z Favors a Basic Color Palette
When it comes to fashion, the study found that Gen Z girls stick to three colors: black, white and grey. In the race between fashion and comfort, Efros said athleisure looks almost always win. Overall, the generation typically chooses comfort over influence.

Pack Mentality
Gen Z likes to shop with their friends to collect their opinions on fit and style, but they wait to make purchases with their parents. According to Efros, Gen Z is sensitive about who can and cannot afford something within their friend group. Therefore, they prefer to buy items later with their parents.