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Generation Z In E-commerce: Their Characteristics & What Makes Them Buy

We are not exaggerating when we say that Generation Z is revolutionizing everything around us. Literally, everything!

That’s not surprising as Generation Z has been exposed to the digital world since their early childhood. You might think the current kids are the first generation to be widely exposed to the digital world. However, we have to tell you that Generation Z is the pioneer of internet usage. 

There are entire applications primarily created to serve Gen-Z and their needs. Tiktok and video content are just a few of the many changes currently taking place based on the preferences of Generation Z. 

Accordingly, changes in online shopping are no exception. Generation Z in e-commerce was able to make massive changes. 

Therefore, to stay on top, you have to keep up with Generation Z in e-commerce and their evolving needs. 

Throughout the upcoming paragraphs, we will shed light on Generation Z, who they are, their characteristics, their buying behavior, and some statistics. 

Table Of Content

  1. What is Gen-Z?
  2. Characteristics of Gen-Z
  3. Statistics And Insights
  4. Gen-Z Buying Behavior And What Makes Them Buy?

What is Gen-Z?

Generation Z are born between 1997 and 2012; some argue till 2011. They are the ones between the millennials and the alpha. They are regarded as digital natives as they are the first generation to be born while having the internet as part of their daily lives. 

Generation Z has witnessed several events like the launching of the iPhone, the global economic recession of 2007, the Covid-19 pandemic, Climate change, and plenty of other events.  

Therefore, we can say that several events shaped Gen-Z and played a huge role in their actions, needs, and preferences. 

The heterogeneity of events they have been exposed to makes them more diverse than any other generation. 

Characteristics of Gen-Z

Characteristics of Gen-ZImage source:

Interested to know more about Generation Z?

We have got you covered. We will tell you some of the most prominent characteristics of Gen-Z so you can consider them in your upcoming marketing efforts. 

  • Always Online

It goes without saying that Gen-Z is always online. Their slangs even indicate that. Unlike any previous generations, anything Gen-Z needs to know, they look for it on the internet. In other words, they google it. 

Believe us, googling stuff wasn’t a thing back in the years. 

They do everything online, shopping, socializing, sharing their thoughts, and even working. Hence, they are a tech-savvy generation. They had their hands on smartphones in their early years. Therefore, the internet and social media are their main references. 

  • They Prefer Digestible Content

Generation Z's short attention span paved the way for incorporating short video content. 

This became apparent in Instagram reels, Tiktok videos, and Youtube shorts. Therefore, one of the main aspects that Gen-Z values is the digestible content. 

For this age group, grabbing their attention is harder than ever. Thus, a short video format is the starting point. 

  • They Appreciate Diversity

When focusing on Generation Z in the US, we will find that this generation is the most diverse.

They have grown up in different backgrounds and witnessed several social events. They have varying family structures and have seen first-of-their-kind events like having the first Black American president. 

These incidents make Generation Z appreciate diversity and inclusivity more than any other generation.  

According to Pew Research Center (2020), Generation Z is the most racially and ethnically diverse generation. They have a large number of non-white Americans, Hispanics, and at least one migrant parent.   

Statistics And Insights You Need To Know

Numbers never lie. Hence, we will show you some statistics and insights to understand Generation Z in e-commerce. 

  • According to Statista (2023), in the first quarter of 2023, 96% of surveyed Gen-Z shoppers in the US mentioned that they shop online at least once a month. 
  • Generation Z account for 100 billion dollars of purchasing power (Sailthru,2023).
  • 43% of Gen-Z shoppers start their online search for products on Tiktok (The Current,2023).
  • 29% of Gen-Z’s purchasing decisions are affected by the brand’s presence on social media (SimplicityDX,2023)
  • 58% of Generation Z are affected by the recommendations of influencers in their purchase decisions.
  • 84% of Gen-Zs prefer brands that offer them personalized shopping experiences (Sailthru,2023).
  •  Generation Z has a 60% higher engagement rate on mobile apps than any other generation (, 2020).  

Gen-Z Buying Behavior: What Makes Them Buy?

Gen-Z Buying Behavior
Currently, a huge faction of purchasing power in e-commerce is in the hands of Gen-Z. Therefore, the success of your e-commerce is strongly linked to understanding Generation Z's buying behavior and what makes them buy.

Let us take you through some dimensions of Generation Z in e-commerce.

1- They Are Informed Customers 

Generation Z in e-commerce implies that they are highly informed customers. Being a generation born in an economic recession, they think wisely before making any purchase. 

They are regarded as a price-conscious generation as they compare value delivered to the price. 

Accordingly, they do extensive research before placing any order. They look for the available options and weigh them to reach the best deals.  

This is compatible with them being a tech-savvy generation. Therefore, they use the internet and social media to gather information, reviews, and feedback before making any online purchase.

Accordingly, word-of-mouth marketing is essential for your online brand if you aim to reach out to Generation Z. 

2- Highly Affected By Influencer Marketing

Ecommerce Influencer Marketing Campaigns Examples
E-commerce influencer marketing involves collaborating with influencers to promote your product or service. 

The presence of influencers has been an integral part of the lives of Generation Z. Hence, as they are always gathering data before purchasing, they rely heavily on influencers to gather their desired information.

Influencers' recommendations and product reviews shape Generation Z's buying behavior in e-commerce. According to Hubspot (2023), 33% of Generation Z have purchased a product based on influencers’ recommendations. 

As a result, directing your marketing efforts to influencer marketing will go a long way with Generation Z in e-commerce. 

3- Appreciate Brand Values And Authenticity

If something Generation Z appreciates the most, it will be a brand with values, identity, and authenticity. 

Generation Z in e-commerce doesn’t go with the flow. They appreciate brands that have values aligning with theirs. Therefore, they are willing to go the extra mile and pay more for a brand that supports a certain cause. 

In addition, brand authenticity is crucial for Generation Z in e-commerce. Brand authenticity is the degree to which the brand’s marketing messages align with its values and actions. 

Accordingly, to reach out to Generation Z in e-commerce, you have to stay true to yourself while developing brand authenticity and sticking to ethical values.  

4- Rely On Social Commerce

Unlike any other generation, Generation Z relies massively on social commerce for their online shopping experiences. 

Well, social commerce wasn’t a thing back in the years. However, for Generation Z, it's their primary source of shopping inspiration. 

Social commerce involves using various social media platforms for online purchasing. Hence, Generation Z appreciates brand connection through social media platforms as it hugely impacts their buying behavior. 

5- Demand Sustainable Shopping

Sustainable Shopping Image source:

Believe it or not but Generation Z values sustainability in e-commerce. In the past few years, they started considering thrift shopping and second-hand products. 

Generation Z grew up in an era when the whole world was focusing on climate change and its devastating implications. Expectedly, these thoughts about reducing climate footprint extended to Generation Z in e-commerce. 

They appreciate brands that are eco-friendly and contribute with sustainable products. A study has shown that 64% of Gen-Z consumers in the US consider sustainability when choosing a certain product to purchase (Statista,2023). 

As a result, to attract Generation Z to your e-commerce, create sustainable products and develop environmentally friendly practices. (Honestly, we should all do this to save our planet, not just to attract Generation Z).  

6- They Value Personalized Shopping Experiences

Long gone is the time of generic product recommendations and shopping experiences. For Generation Z, personalization is the key to gaining their trust and loyalty. 

Generation Z in e-commerce will value reward programs, loyalty programs, and exclusive promotions. This sense of exclusivity is valued by Generation Z and can do wonders for your online store. 

Personalized ads, shopping experiences, and product recommendations will certainly attract Generation Z to your e-commerce. 

They value personalization, so they get what they need, aren’t they?

Final Thoughts

It became evident by now that Generation Z represents a huge purchasing power. Thus, if your online brand targets this age group, generation Z is essential to the success of your e-commerce. 

It is a tech-savvy generation who are highly conscious of values, sustainability, climate changes are plenty of other causes. 

Hence, it requires an evolving brand to be able to keep up with the needs of Generation Z in e-commerce. 

Speaking of which, marketing automation will be a good start to reach out to Generation Z. To enjoy all the perks of marketing automation, you will have to visit

Convertedin is a marketing automation tool that will help you appeal to Generation Z by offering a personalized product recommendation engine, personalized ads, auto segmentation, and tailored email marketing.