Gen Z, a digitally native generation, loves to shop online and is prompting more brands and companies toward e-commerce. This is an influential consumer type or segment owing to its size and growing spending power.
According to the report “Bold Moves: Leading Southeast Asia’s Next Wave of Consumer Growth”, consumers are prioritizing value in their purchases and this near-term shift has given rise to a set of evolving needs, like social media and streaming. These are swiftly becoming “needs” for consumers across income groups.
Gen Z is a group to vouch for. It embraces digital-first and values individuality and authenticity. Gen Zs have distinct preferences and leading the way. The report pointed out that Gen Zs are leading other generations in discovering, evaluating, and buying online. As such, several social media platforms have introduced e-commerce features to provide an alternative to popular online shopping sites like Lazada and Shopee. Some examples include TikTok Shop and Facebook Marketplace where users can purchase without having to go outside the application.
Gen Z consumers, as per Survey Monkey, want more from brands than just affordable and high-quality products. This group is more likely to use social media to connect with their favorite brands, seek inspiration, and research products. About 73 percent of consumers say it’s important that brands share similar values as they do.
Survey Monkey stated that more than half of all Gen Zs and Millennials have made a purchase based on a recommendation from a social media influencer or content creator. Gen Zs are much more active on social media, with nearly 64 percent using social media several times a day, compared to others. About 54 percent of Gen Z spend two or more hours browsing on social media, whereas only 41 percent of Millennials and 30 percent of Gen X have similar levels of usage.
Lawrence Loh, professor of strategy and policy at the National University of Singapore’s Business School, said the emotional engagement on social media appeals to Gen Zs as they would rather buy from content creators who provide a dimension of authenticity to the product. He explained that this group prefers to get real about what they buy.
Tracy Loh, senior lecturer of communication management at Singapore Management University, pointed out that TikTok’s live streamers chat with their audience for three to four hours at a time. “It’s like getting a recommendation from a friend, helping the buyer gain more user trust than a brand would. You want somebody whose trust factor is high, especially when it comes to more personal or intimate products, such as cosmetics or health.”