Online shopping habits of Gen Z

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Knowing who you are marketing to is a big success factor when creating an ecommerce business. Gen Z is the youngest member of today's workforce and has significant buying power. What makes them unique is their familiarity with the internet and confidence in online shopping.

The Gen Z profile

Generation Z, otherwise known as Gen Z or zoomers. Born between 1997 and 2012, Gen Z grew up with the internet and mobile devices like no other generation. They have never known dial-up internet, VHS tapes or life before the digital age.

They have benefited from older siblings and parents giving hand-me-down smartphones and tablets. According to survey results from The Modern Mobile Gamer: Gen Z Edition by ironSource 2022, 61% of American Gen Z had their first smartphone between the age of 11-17 and 22% by the age of 10. In Germany, 94% of 12-13 year-olds owned a smartphone in 2021, says Statista.

Gen Z and social media

These are statistics that show how Gen Z use the internet:

  • 55% stream movies or series every day in Europe (Statista, 2022)
  • 40% play online every day in Europe (Statista, 2022)
  • Almost 24 hours are spent on TikTok per month globally (Hootsuite, 2022)
  • Only 2% use Facebook in the US (Pew Research, 2022)
  • 40% use Instagram or TikTok instead of Google Search or Maps (PetaPixel, 2022)
  • 65% follow fashion brands on social media (Ad Tech Daily, 2021)
  • Gen Z and online shopping

    Chasing the tails of millennials, Gen Z know what they want when shopping online. Their buying power is growing as they enter their first jobs and their attitude to brands is hugely influential when parting with their cash.

    Gen Z account for 40% of global consumers

    A market segment you can't ignore, Gen Z made up 40% of global consumers in 2020, according to McKinsey. The same article reported zoomer's spending power to be USD 150 billion, just shy of millennials' USD 200 billion. By 2025, 85% of American buyers will be Gen Z (55.6 million), says Intelligence Insider.

    85% save their money

    A huge majority of Gen Z surveyed by Gen Z Planet, 2022, admitted they save up to half of the money they receive. As many as 26% invest this money into the stock market.

    2 out of 3 would boycott a brand

    The 5WPR Consumer Report, 2021, found that Gen Z takes into consideration a brand's ethics and political stance before making a purchase. 51% agreed that they want to buy from brands they share beliefs with. Similarly, McKinsey found that 2 out of 3 would boycott or switch brands based on their views.

    68% shop on their phones 1-4 times per week

    Just less than 7 out of 10 zoomers make purchases on their smartphone 1 – 4 times a week, says The Modern Mobile Gamer: Gen Z Edition by ironSource 2022. Food delivery services are also popular with 60% of Gen Z frequently indulging. Overall, 57% admit to regularly shopping for retail purchases on mobile.

    Impulsive shopping

    Although good at saving, Gen Z is found to be impulse shoppers. Up to 77% "always or sometimes" buy at first sight, according to the 5WPR Report. This is compared to 80% of millennials doing the same.


    Gen Z is particular when looking for online purchases, so dropshippers should be prepared when marketing to this audience. Keeping up with trends, inclusivity, and sustainability are vital issues they consider when purchasing.

    Related articles:

  • Targeting millennials for ecommerce
  • How to write a customer persona: A step-by-step guide
  • How to provide a personalised customer experience in ecommerce
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