Gen Z makes its shopping presence felt

Gen Z retail

Research indicates Gen Z is emerging as a force to be reckoned with in the retail front, with teens and pre-teens involved in both their own purchasing decisions and those made on behalf of the household.

According to a recent report by the US National Retail Federation, nearly 9 in 10 parents say their children influence at least some of their purchasing decisions, with clothing, outing, toys and food among the purchases where they have the most sway.

Here’s an insight into the purchasing power of Gen Z…

The power of Gen Z

Born after 1995, Gen Z is primed to become the next generation that retailers will be looking to court. Although the majority are still in their pre-teens or teens, this digitally savvy generation has more say behind the scenes than any generation prior.

In their recent Consumer View report, the NRF notes this is a generation who influences purchases made on their behalf, those made for a household, and is also coming to an age where they have a disposable income of their own.

“Gen Z is responsible for a fundamental shift in the way families shop,” the NRF reports. “This is having an impact on the retail industry.”

A major say in purchasing

NRF research found over four in five parents say they involve their children in purchases more than their own parents did with them.

Parents indicate:

  • Gen Z influences 47 per cent of purchases made on their behalf
  • Gen Z influences 46 per cent of purchases made for a household

When it comes to how that influence is exercised and what aspect of purchasing is affected:

  • 52 per cent of parents said it influences the brands they consider
  • 48 per cent noted it influenced the product features they viewed as important
  • 41 per cent indicated it affected the specific retailers they consider purchasing from

All stages of the purchasing journey

The report also noted Gen Z is involved in all stages of the purchasing journey, but it is in the early phases that their input is most often sought by parents and valued most.

Almost three-quarters of parents (72 per cent) typically involve Gen Z in the researching phase; 51 per cent involve them directly before purchase when checking things like availability; 26 per cent when placing an order or at the checkout; and 12 per cent when making a review or return.

The products they have a say on

Gen Z retail

Not all products or purchases attract Gen Z interest or influence, with clothes, outings, toys and food purchases the most likely areas where they will have an input.

Meanwhile, it’s not just their parent’s money they are spending. The report notes Gen Z is also keen to use their hard-earned cash on the items they love, with entertainment purchases such as apps, books/music and toys/games among their favoured items.

Products that Gen Z is most likely to have purchasing input into, or purchase themselves are:

  • Toys and games – 92 per cent
  • Clothes and shoes – 91 per cent
  • Food and drink – 88 per cent
  • Dining out – 87 per cent
  • Events and outings – 85 per cent
  • Books and music- 85 per cent
  • Electronics – 81 per cent
  • Personal care – 81 per cent
  • Travel – 79 per cent
  • Apps – 78 per cent
  • Sports equipment – 78 per cent
  • Digital streaming – 74 per cent

The retail impact

Gen Z is just beginning to stretch its retail muscle, and over the coming years their influence is set to become stronger and more direct.

For retailers, that means the focus should be on their journey as a customer in the knowledge they have a voice behind the scenes.

As the NRF reflects: “The increasing influence children have on family spending will have a direct impact on the ever-evolving retail landscape. Retailers have the opportunity to tap into this behaviour and support all-inclusive family shopping.”