Gen Z is the largest generation worldwide, with a spending power of over 3 trillion dollars annually. They are confident, independent, and individualistic. This group is behind the latest social media trends, including the Y2K return on TikTok. They have a much shorter attention span than millennials, with an average of eight seconds. This makes them a difficult customer. Brands only have a limited amount of time to make an impression, so it is important to understand Gen Z’s priorities and habits before they spend their money. UNiDAYS, the largest Student Affinity Network in the world, released a report that provides insightful insights. It surveyed 18 000 students worldwide to find out their opinions on fashion.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to use gendered language

Gen Z values individualism and going against all the grain. 56 percent don’t follow fashion trends, but nearly all of them credit clothes for making them feel confident. 87 percent feel more confident in the right clothes. Gen Z, at 79 percent, is open to buying clothing marketed to the other gender. However, 23 percent feel that traditional gender-focused language used in retail stores is outdated and offensive.

woman in white sleeveless dress standing on gray concrete floor

Brand loyalty is fuelled by morals

According to a survey, 79 percent consider sustainability very important and 67 percent prefer clothes that are socially conscious. Brands who represent Gen Z’s values will be rewarded with their dollars. One in four respondents admit that they don’t know where their clothes were made. Therefore, transparency about the supply chain is a winning strategy. Pre-loved clothing is acceptable by 39 percent. They also appreciate recycling as it is more economical. Gen Z expects their favourite online retailers to produce genuine social media content that speaks to the environment, and supports social justice. 85 percent of respondents will research a brand online prior to making a purchase.

Luxury has lost its appeal

Luxury market must do its research as 71% of Gen Z don’t relate to luxury brands. However, all is not lost. Nearly a third of respondents have purchased luxury clothing in the past year. 32 percent said they follow designers, and 40 percent appreciated limited edition pieces. This is a great opportunity for luxury brands to reach this market. Luxury clothing is a luxury treat for 47 percent of respondents.

Party-ready, but pennywise

Gen Z is reluctant to spend full price and finds it hard to part with their money. They are willing to wear party clothes now the pandemic restrictions have been lifted. 84% are eager to make new purchases in-store, despite their predilection for shopping online. 64 percent plan to spend more on clothes, with dressing up being a top priority. 95 percent want to save money and 82 percent prefer brands that offer frequent discounts. Shopping is viewed as a social event that can be shared with friends by more than half of those surveyed.

group of people inside room

Advertising and Gen Z’s relationship

Although 56 percent of respondents said they don’t follow brands via social media, Gen Z isn’t as concerned about advertising as older generations. As long as the content is relevant, it won’t pop up in instant messaging or social conversations, Gen Z doesn’t care as much. TikTok has 39 percent of Gen Z users. Instagram is second with 37 percent. Snapchat is 10 percent, and Twitter is 5 percent. Gen Z believes there should be restrictions on social media. Influencers should not be allowed to post retouched and unlabeled content. Meanwhile, 93% believe that social media encourages unrealistic body images and life goals. 34% of respondents don’t feel comfortable shopping on social media, while 85% will search elsewhere online.

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