Social media has become a driving force in shaping the shopping habits of Generation Z, the digitally native cohort born between the mid-1990s and early 2010s. With platforms like YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat dominating their online presence, Gen Z’s purchasing decisions are heavily influenced by the content they consume on these platforms.
According to Morning Consult’s survey, YouTube is the most-used platform for Gen Z, with 88% spending their time on the app, followed by Instagram at 76%, TikTok at 68%, and Snapchat at 67%. These platforms have become essential channels for brands to reach and engage with this young and influential demographic.
One of the key trends in Gen Z shopping behavior driven by social media is the reliance on influencers and content creators for product recommendations. Research from Yes Lifecycle Marketing revealed that more than 80% of Gen Z is influenced by social media when it comes to making purchases, compared to millennials at 74%, Gen X at 58%, and baby boomers at 41%. This highlights the importance of influencer marketing for brands targeting Gen Z consumers.
In addition to influencers, Gen Z shoppers also use social media platforms to seek inspiration, research products, and connect with their favorite brands. A report by GlobalWebIndex found that 41% of Gen Z consumers worldwide use social media to learn about new products or services. This has led to the rise of social commerce, where brands showcase their products in a way that resonates with Gen Z consumers and drives sales through social media platforms.
Mobile payments and digital wallets have also gained popularity among Gen Z, as they embrace the convenience and ease of use offered by mobile apps and payment services like Cash App, Venmo, and Apple Pay. This shift towards mobile-first shopping experiences further emphasizes the need for brands to optimize their e-commerce strategies for mobile devices.
Gen Z consumers prioritize affordability, brand authenticity, transparency, and sustainability when making purchasing decisions. They are more likely to engage with brands that have a strong social media presence and align with their values. As a result, brands targeting Gen Z must focus on building genuine connections with their audience through social media and showcasing their commitment to social and environmental causes.