African-American Gen Z Shoppers Discover Brands Online But Purchase In-Store

While Millennials still get the lion’s share of attention, Gen Z, the demographic cohort nipping at the heels of their older siblings, are beginning to take center stage. Known as the Plurals, Founders, or the iGeneration, Gen Z consumers may be setting their own rules, somewhat, but because of their age, still look to their parents and friends to make purchase decisions.

In the second wave of the ThinkNow Gen™ We Are Gen Z Report, a collaboration between ThinkNow Research and Sensis Agency, we take a closer look at how Gen Z shoppers make purchase decisions and how finances impact those decisions.

Traditional Media Drives Purchases

Similar to Millennials, Gen Z consumers are bombarded with ads online. But unlike Millennials, who are more likely to click on these ads, 63% Gen Z shoppers still think good ole’ fashioned print advertisements, like those found in magazines or catalogs, are a good way to learn about new products. That group is led by Hispanics at 66%, followed closely by African-Americans and Asians, at 64% and 62% respectively.

In-store Experiences Influence Purchase Behavior

Gen Z shoppers are the first generation to grow up in a digital dominant economy. But because of their age (ages 2-19 with the sweet spot for marketers being ages 11-16), they still rely heavily on friends or family to learn about new products. When out shopping with friends or family in-store, 56% of Gen Z shoppers say that seeing a product they like in the store encourages a later purchase. Of that group, both African-American and Asian consumers represent that largest minority, at 56%, compared to 60% Non-Hispanic White.

Financial Responsibility Tames Spending

Gen Z shoppers may have been babies when the 2008 recession hit, but they grew up in households recovering from the turmoil of that period, which may explain their attitude toward spending. Per the study, 69% of Gen Z shoppers stated that they would save up their money to purchase an expensive item. Leading that pack are Hispanics, at 74%, followed by Non-Hispanic Whites, and a tie among African-Americans and Asians.

The Conclusion

Gen Zers are the most multicultural of all the generations, and if you ask any parent, the most independent. But the key to making a successful bid for their time, attention, and dollars is to grow up with them. Brands have to be relevant to the Gen Z shopper as toddlers and tweens, up until their teens. And you can’t forget the parents, who hold the purse strings.