Trending Shopping Habits of Gen Z

Did you know that Gen Z has an estimated collective buying power of $150 billion? With that much money on the line, it is important to understand what and why they are buying. In this post, we’ll discuss what Gen Z is purchasing, how technology has influenced their spending habits, and how their shopping behaviors impact different industries.

Fashion Devotion

Gen Z loves fashion. Gen Z is more committed to shopping and fashion than any other generation. A report conducted by Afterpay revealed that fashion accounts for 80% of Gen Z spending through their service compared to 70% of Millenial spending. Why?

A potential reason for Gen Z’s devotion to fashion could be due to the power of social media. Gen Z grew up on the internet and they currently spend about 4.5 hours a day on social media which is influencing their shopping behaviors. For example, 47% of Gen Z say that they turn to social media for inspiration and 78% of Gen Z shoppers have purchased an item they had seen on their social media feed.

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Which social platforms are driving fashion consumption?

64% of Gen Z say they get shopping inspiration from Instagram. Another social media platform driving inspiration and sales is TikTok. For example, TikTok #hauls, which include showing off items purchased from a shopping trip, have amassed over 17.6 billion views on the platform. And let's not forget about #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt, which includes sharing items purchased because of TikTok. The hashtag has garnered over 9.2 billion views.

TikTok Example

Fast Fashion on the decline

Gen Z is passionate about buying with intention. A report conducted by First Insight revealed that Gen Z shoppers value “high-quality, long-lasting products over trendy disposable items,” including clothing items. Another report conducted by Vogue and GQ revealed that 60% of Gen Z shoppers think the pandemic made them more conscious about the fashion items they buy. A potential reason for this could be due to the spike in social media usage during the pandemic and the climate change resources that are easily shared on the platforms Gen Z uses. As a result, 73% of Gen Z consumers reported that they are willing to spend more on environmentally-friendly products.

What does this look like? Instead of buying from fast fashion brands, Gen Z is purchasing from second-hand stores. Gen Z is 27% more likely to shop second-hand in order to get quality and affordable clothes that will allow them to have a unique fashion style.

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“I prefer thrifting to regular shopping for two main reasons: one, I don’t want to give in to fast fashion, and two, I am very money-conscious. Thrifting is a wonderful solution to both dilemmas because it’s usually very cheap and helps keep perfectly fine clothes out of landfills!” – Kate, Cary High

“Thrifting is much more affordable, discourages fast fashion, sustainable, and fun to go in not knowing what there will be.” – Zoe Howroyd, New York

What this means for your brand

How can your brand continue to keep a pulse on Gen Z shopping trends? Jump on the social platforms they are on! Start with TikTok and Instagram. Search for popular hashtags including #hauls, #thrifting, or #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt. Take a look at the content that shows up. Do you see a common theme? Lastly, don’t shy away from following Gen Z influencers!

Brenda Uribe is a Community Manager at Camp + King in Chicago where she leads social for clients like Papa John’s, Energizer, and Four Roses. She is a proud Latina and loves to bring her multicultural perspective to the projects that she leads.