The Shopping Habits of Generation Z Will Shape the Future of E-Commerce

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After Millennials, members of Generation Z are emerging as the next major consumer demographic. The group born in 1996 are growing up and entering the workforce which means that many of them now have the purchasing power to influence brands and commerce. While most of them are not even in the voting age yet, the generation already has a spending power of $143 billion.

It is known that they are digital natives who came to be when the internet is already widely available and accessible. They grew up with YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and all these platforms. They are also used to shopping online.

Members of Generation Z, or colloquially referred to as Zoomers, are in many ways similar to their predecessors, the Millennials. However, there are stark differences between the two generations, too.

For brands to better connect with and understand the next generation of consumers, they need to invest in research. Brands should utilize social media, VoC (voice of the customer) feedback, and other channels in order to figure out what Zoomers from retailers both online and offline. For now, here are the shopping habits of youngsters that may shape the future of e-commerce.

Traditional Retails is Not Dead

Over the past decade, the United States has witnessed the fall of many household brands. Even before COVID-19, food traffic in brick and mortar stores were already on a decline. So, when the pandemic hit, many brands went under. The lockdowns further reduced the income of so many icons in retail such as J.C. Penney, Toys R Us, Sears, Neiman Marcus, and Brooks Brothers. They all filed for bankruptcy in 2020.

However, it turns out, traditional retail is still popular among Zoomers. One survey revealed that 80 percent of the age group actually enjoy and look forward to shopping in-stores. If they have the time. They still rely on e-commerce to make purchases whenever they need something but do not have time to head to a brick-and-mortar store. They appreciate the convenience of e-commerce, but the majority of them want the in-store experience of being able to physically touch and see the merchandise before purchase.

What made Zoomers different from their predecessor is the mix of both channels. While they enjoy shopping in-store, they like the option of purchasing from an e-commerce platform. They also often use their smartphones while in a brick-and-mortar store to look for feedback from other customers.

They Do Not Mind Targeted Ads


Unlike the generations before them, members of Generation Z do not mind seeing ads, as long as they offer some sort of value. All those data being harvested by social media sites, search engines, various mobile apps, and their smartphones will come in handy.

Zoomers like to be shown products that they have been shopping for that they either forgot to buy or at a discounted price. They also want to learn about new products through advertisements.

Nearly half of all Zoomers say that they expect ads that show up on their social media news feeds and on websites they browse to be relevant to what they are interested in at present.

Another survey found that Zoomers also think that websites should know what they want before they even say it. Targeting, therefore, will continue to be necessary for the future of e-commerce to allow platforms to predict what consumers what more accurately.

They are Informed Consumers

Generation Z members are digital natives. They can easily navigate the digital landscape better than anyone. They also have a bottomless trove of information at the palm of their hands.

It will be difficult to fool them.

These young consumers are tech-savvy. They make highly informed decisions, including whenever they make a purchase. Before buying anything, they collect as much information as possible. They read reviews, research the product, and even look at the brand’s reputation. They are more analytical about their purchases compared to Millennials, their Generation X parents, or Baby Boomers.

Marketers will need to be more transparent about the information they publish online. Brands need to be authentic because young consumers will be able to see through the pretense. Moreover, with social media, any negative reputation can dissuade potential customers, especially Zoomers, from spending their money on the brand.

Marketers should begin studying the purchasing habits and demands of members of Generation Z because they will continue to influence retail, both online and offline. They are digital natives, but they do enjoy shopping in-store. E-commerce platforms will have to step up and better mimic the shopping experience in-store to capture the attention of young consumers.

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