Checking in with Gen Z : 3 new things we’ve learned

Credit : Katie Jordan


After completing a three-part study on Generation Z last year, NRF went back to the parents of these young consumers to uncover how they’re influencing family shopping and purchasing decisions. The latest Consumer View, “Keeping up with Gen Z,” digs into trends surrounding their effect on household spending. Here are the top three findings.


Gen Z plays a big role in family shopping


This generation, made up of those born in 1995 and later, has been of considerable interest to the retail industry as they’ve grown into a consumer segment that holds significant buying power. Now we know how much influence they’re exerting over family spending decisions and overall shopping behavior. The overwhelming majority of parents surveyed (87 percent) say their children influence at least some aspect of their purchasing decisions, either for household items or purchases for the children themselves. Whether they’re spending their own money or just sharing their input with mom and dad, Gen Z has the most influence on clothes, toys, outings and food purchases.



In the modern age of shopping, children are more involved than ever


As retail continues to evolve, consumers have more and more decision-making power — and children are no exception. As one parent of a Gen Zer puts it: “When I was little, they didn’t have the internet so we couldn’t research products ahead of time. Now my son looks at stuff online on his own and saves me the time by finding what and where to purchase it, plus the average price for the item.”  That might factor into why over four in five say they involve their children in purchases more than their own parents did with them. The involvement comes in a number of ways, but typically Gen Zers assist by looking at products online or in a store, gathering product information and even adding desired items directly to a parent’s shopping cart.

Gen Z is responsible for a fundamental shift in the way families shop


Gen Z’s influence on family shopping habits has had a direct impact on the ever-changing retail industry. Many parents mentioned they include their children as a way to bond with them, and savvy retailers are tapping into this behavior. In fact, brands like Walmart, Aéropostale, Disney and Target have already launched strategies that help make shopping an all-inclusive experience.


Parents feel it’s most important to include their children in the earlier phases of the shopping journey, so this is where retailers can really help ensure shopping is as easy as possible for busy parents. Although a significant majority of parents already feel retailers make it easy to include their Gen Zers, eight in 10 wish retailers made it even easier and 84 percent are more likely to shop at a retailer that successfully does so.


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