Despite Inflation, Gen Z Consumers Are Still Shopping Online

According to a recent study on generational trends in consumer behavior by Jungle Scout, a platform for e-commerce sellers, Gen Z consumers have continued to buy online via varying social media platforms despite the rise in inflation. The study included a survey of more than 1,000 consumers in the US, which found that 32 percent of Gen Z customers shop online at least once daily.

Forty-three percent of Gen Z say they open TikTok first to start their search for products online, which is higher than search engines such as Google. Compared to last year, across all generations, the number of consumers who use TikTok as the first place to search for online products has increased by 36 percent.

Jungle Scout’s report states that as several social media platforms have embedded e-commerce compatibility into their business models, consumers are now shifting to YouTube, TikTok, Instagram and Facebook for purchasing. Instagram, YouTube and TikTok account for respectively 71 percent, 68 percent and 68 percent of Gen Z consumers who are likely to purchase a product directly from social media.

Resale e-commerce has also become a strong contender for Gen Z shoppers to buy fashion. Poshmark, Depop, The RealReal and eBay have allowed for purchasing and selling of used items of varying conditions — they are particularly prevalent in finding secondhand designer or luxury goods. These websites are seen by Gen Z consumers as more sustainable alternatives to buying fast-fashion items and saving money.

Jungle Scout’s findings show that 42 percent of Gen Z have bought something pre-owned within the last year, with 22 percent citing book purchases and 33 percent citing clothing purchases.

The study highlights the importance of having an overall strong social media for brands. As Gen Z consumers use e-commerce platforms with social media websites and apps, having an easily discoverable online presence on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube is important for brands to become more visible and successful.

In understanding the role that social media and Gen Z’s spending habits play, brands are better able to tailor their marketing and sales strategies to find new customers. Overall, Jungle Scout’s study has continued to emphasize the importance of the e-commerce landscape throughout the current economic recession and the uncertainties that lie ahead.