Winning Over Gen Z During the Holidays

Gen Z: people ages 3–23 (ish) and they’ve got spending power. Of course, a 7-year-old is not toting $3,000 around to spend on holiday gifting, but a study by CPC Strategy states that Gen Z as a group is planning on spending more this holiday season. While this same study does note that 66 percent of Gen Z is limited to a budget of less than $250, given the size of this generation, it still amounts to a lot of money.


Gen Z is seeking things retailers can’t overlook:


  • A desire for experiences over tangible items. Think of what gets posted on Instagram: it’s photos of the hike in the woods, going to the concert, trying a new recipe. This raises the bar on their expectations of a meaningful shopping experience. To them, pop-up shops are the norm, climbing walls have always been in outdoor apparel stores, plentiful samples have always been provided in cosmetic retailers. Gen Z is looking for an enriching emotional experience with your brand, not just a transactional “hey, that will be $43.27, would you like your receipt?” experience. 
  • The importance of visual appeal and easily accessible information can’t be overstated. Gen Z is accustomed to beautiful pictures and instant knowledge without spending much time looking for it. So your merchandising, online and off, has to tell a story, has to be a quick get, has to be scannable and in soundbites. Orient it to how Gen Z processes information and their standard mode of thinking. 
  • Authenticity is critical to Gen Z, and the risk of being perceived as fake looms large. Ensure that all of the ways a consumer can interact with your brand stem from one consistent, and true, point of view. Gen Z wants to engage with meaningful entities, not empty promises. And, by all means, avoid the over-promise. 
  • Quickly changing offerings. Supply chain management is a core element of keeping Gen Z interested. Seeing new items on a regular basis can keep their attention and spark revisits. Think of Gen Z’s drive to post photos of different meals all the times and you’ll understand why a varying selection is mandatory.



We hope this has given you a few things to ponder as the holidays fall upon us. Remember, a satisfied 14-year-old Gen Z-er has a lot of future earnings to spend, and you want them to spend them with you.