Gen Z – a force to be reckoned with | People to Watch 2023

Although this demographic group is just beginning to emerge as home furnishings buyers — the segment that is out of college, at least — they are a group that is hard to pin down but must be reckoned with.

Shoppers who fall into the Gen Z age range — late teens through mid-20s — are blazing their own trail in the wide world of retail. While they sometimes mimic their elders, more often they are setting themselves apart, especially with how they find the brands they want to buy.

One survey of Gen Z, conducted by Snipp, found that brand discovery comes through social media outlets such as TikTok, Instagram, YouTube and digital ads. More than half of the female respondents (56.1%) start with TikTok, then go to Instagram (37.6%). For male shoppers, YouTube is first (44.6%), followed by online, social, TV and streaming advertisements (34.7%). Brick-and-mortar stores make up a much smaller portion of Gen Z’s product search — less than 10%.

Product research is important to Gen Z, with more than 62% saying they thoroughly research on their own before buying. Of much less importance are the opinions of friends, influencers and salespeople. But Gen Z does put a lot of stock in online reviews and ratings. An LTK Gen Z shopping study also showed creators are trusted ahead of social media ads and celebrity posts as sources for product discovery.

All things home-related are appealing to Gen Z as they begin to move into dorms or their own apartments. The Numerator survey “Zooming in on Gen Z Buyers” noted that within a three-month period, about one-fifth of 18- to 20-year-olds moved to a new address, while for those 21 to 23, 18% moved.

Money spent on the home and garden category was the second-highest spend in 2022 after health and beauty for all Gen Zers, no matter their age group. The oldest in Gen Z spent $982 on home and garden during 2022.

In another report from Earnest Analytics, spending on home was put at about 3.4% of total spending, or $177 per year. But despite the small number, Gen Z’s home spending is currently outpacing that of other generational groups.

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