Generation Z - sometimes called the 'Instagram generation' - is young and mobile, and they crave novelty and experience, according to marketing technology company Criteo's Gen Z Report, which is based on the 'Criteo Shopper Story'. This article is copyright 2018 The Best Customer Guide.

The report analyzed shopping perceptions from thousands of members of Gen Z and found that this powerful group of shoppers share a love of real-world retail experience, augmented by technology. The report also revealed key findings about the demographic's spending power, retail behaviors and expectations.

Generation Z lives by visuals and expects their retailers to make experiences cool and aesthetic, show how products are used, and feature them in their best light. To do this, retailers must improve the online experience and enhance store display and design. Retailers and brands that embody Gen Z values, and ultimately win their loyalty, offer personalized experiences, limited-edition merchandise, uncommon products, good-looking stores and authentic brand stories.

Among the key insights from the report:

  • Significant Spending Power
    Both online and off, the amount Gen Z spends across categories is strong, particularly in consumer electronics where they spend an average of $182 online and $125 offline over a six-month period.
  • Preference for Mobile
    Gen Z spends more time on their mobile devices than any other generation, clocking in 11 hours of mobile online access per week (not counting work and email).
  • Web Watchers
    From TV shows and online videos to music and podcasts, Gen Z loves to watch and listen from the web. This group streams 23 hours of video content per week.
  • Real-World Retail
    Gen Z values real-world retail for experience and discovery. While 75% prefer to do as much shopping as possible online, 80% look forward to shopping in store when they have time.
  • Retail Websites and Apps are Influential
    Over 50% of Gen Z indicated that retail websites and apps are more influential in the purchasing process than search, TV ads or online banner ads. Social media follows as a close second for influence.
  • Prepared Players
    Gen Z is more likely to regularly Scan & Scram and less likely to Click & Collect. They also research online but buy in store, with 34% engaging in Webrooming (research online, buy in-store) and 18% engaging in Showrooming (see it in store, buy it online).
  • Personalized Everything
    Gen Z wants everything personalized, including ads. 62% say they like ads that provide value.

The Gen Z Report surveyed thousands of members of Gen Z in the US, UK, France, Germany, Brazil, and Japan to understand what they think about shopping.

"Gen Z is at the forefront of the mobile commerce revolution, and represents a crucial opportunity for marketers as they develop lifelong brand loyalties," said Jonathan Opdyke, Chief Strategy Officer, Criteo. "While specific shopping habits may vary, Gen Z-ers are native omni-shoppers who like to visit stores but still prefer to take care of their shopping needs online. In order to deliver a personalized experience on all touchpoints, brands and retailers need to employ a data-driven approach to connect Gen Z customers with unique, on-trend products."

The full report has been made available for free download here: