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Gen Z Likes To Spend, But How Do They Spend?

By Carina Mazur, May 10, 2021


Is your target audience everyone—but Gen Z’s?

Gen Z may be overlooked sometimes by marketers, but they actually have incredible shopping power and influence.

Let’s take a look at the decisions Gen Z take before spending, and how you can use those trends to your marketing advantage.


Brand names spending

Something that may surprise you, is that Gen Z are actually money-savers—21% of Gen Zs have already opened up savings accounts well before turning 10 years old.

Gen Z spends about $35 billion in the US a year, but even though Millennials spend about 72x that amount, Gen Z has great influence over the money-spending decisions in their households.

gen z data story

As a younger generation that are most likely living with their families, they are the ones who bring up products that they want or need and influence those shopping decisions for parents and friends. They bring in close to that same $600 billion that Millennials bring—but as a household.

Gen Z’s also don’t care about spending money on brand names like Millennials do, but about finding a unique product. Whether they find that in niche brands, or luxury brand names—it’s about quality, not the actual brand name.

So if you’re not Lululemon or Adidas—great news, Gen Z’s don’t care! Which means they’re a great audience to target new or unknown products to as long as product value connects with what they’re looking for.


Online vs In person

Something that may be shocking, is that Gen Z’s would actually rather shop in person than online.

Their top monthly expenditures include clothing/shoes, eating out, groceries and personal care products. 

gen z data story

On the other hand, Millennials spend most each month on groceries, eating out, car maintenance and household expenses.

You would think that since Gen Z was born into technology and don’t know a life without it, they’d be more inclined to only use technology in their spending. 

But Gen Z’s rather mix it up by spending money in pop-up boutique shops, online shopping, authentic influencer products, paid online ads, and/or credible family and friend recommendations—a whole cocktail of sources they have at their fingertips. 


Relatable social media

In 2020, 72% of Gen Z said they’d more likely buy from a brand if they’re following them on social media.

gen z data story

However, for Gen Z’s, it’s not about trusting influencers who have the most followers on social media. In fact, only 19% will admire something based on a high number of social media followers. It’s about genuine authentic marketing that they care about, which explains why micro influencers are most effective.

It might be best to focus on authentic micro-influencers for Gen Z. Which is great because social media is rich in micro-influencers that have smaller but more engaged audiences, and would be happy to promote your product for you.

Additionally, most of the time Gen Z is using social media for inspiration and research, not direct purchases.

gen z data story

Studies show that over 50% of Gen Z’s have purchased a product or service they saw in a paid social ad. 

But only 15% of Gen Z feel represented in the ads that they see. Gen Z likes to see content that’s real and relatable, not perfect and idealistic. This is something to keep in mind when doing paid ads. Gen Z’s want to see something positive to feel good or laugh, not something that makes them self-conscious.





About Carina Mazur

Carina graduated with a Professional Writing & Communication degree from UofT. She loves coffee (like....a lot), and getting her hands dirty in creating...anything really. As long as there's coffee.