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Gen Z and the Rise of Social Commerce

Updated: Jan 6


Are you a Gen Zer? Have you ever bought anything through social media? Did social media make you purchase something from a brand?


Generation Z, or Gen Zers as mostly called, were born between 1997 and 2012, after the Millennials. The oldest of this generation will be completing college degrees in 2020 and starting their careers. It is notable that they were reared on the internet and are adept with social media tools.


According to Insider Intelligence, Gen Z will become the largest group of consumers in the nearest future, and brands need to take advantage of this opportunity to understand their expectations and predispositions. Gen Zers believe that they are more accepting and open-minded than other generations.


Gen Zers have progressed beyond the e-commerce that millennials prefer and have embraced social commerce, which is the act of making purchases entirely through a social networking platform.


Three Reasons Gen Z love social commerce:


1.The algorithm of Social Media platforms can understand their interests and provide relevant recommendations.

2. They enjoy a unique buying experience.

3. In-app filters, augmented reality capabilities, and live feeds make the experience more compelling.


Ninety-seven percent of Gen Z consumers use social media as their primary source of purchasing inspiration. In comparison, Sixty-five percent use social media to locate enjoyable material, and Sixty-one percent watch video content with it. Brands that wish to have their attention should focus on honest, quality material that these audiences expect.


Platforms like Instagram and TikTok have become successful and influential as an engine for recommendations for purchase decisions and have grown as a social commerce platform. Many Gen Zers spend their money on products seen on these mediums or from seeing influencers' endorsements.


The big media have already adapted to ensure that purchases are frictionless, safe, and trustworthy, anticipating this forthcoming transition in the industry. Swipe-ups on Instagram that take you straight to the item are pretty familiar to Gen Z. However, Instagram's "shopping" tab gives brands additional visibility, allowing them to promote their products and services to a larger scale audience.


According to The drum, the social commerce mix for Gen Z's is a combination of discovering what is trending through influencer posts on TikTok, buying the more conventional items from Amazon shops, and using Instagram Closet accounts to find the lesser-known items.


Gen Z's expectations from brands on Social Commerce


Generation Zers are digital natives. They have grown up with the internet and have had social media presence for more than half their lives. They see and understand the world around them differently. They represent an evolving surge in the use of social media.

The expectations of Generation Z will significantly change the commerce industry. Gen Zers are keen on interacting with brands beyond the shopfront; they are ready to support businesses that highlight them as individuals and understand their peculiarity.


Using gamification as part of content is a fantastic approach to keep Gen Z engaged. It is a versatile tool in the marketing toolbox that can help brands achieve engagement, awareness, and conversion goals.


Influencer marketing is also a formidable tactic for pushing brand awareness and brand reaction. The attractiveness of social media among Gen Zers and their enthusiasm for influencers' opinions or views indicate that brands should develop an influencer marketing strategy to cater to this demographic.


According to The Harris Poll carried out on behalf of Sprout Social, here are some of the expectations of Gen Zers from brands and businesses on social media:


  • 64% of Gen Zers expect a more personalized experience on social media using their previous preferences.

  • 61% of Gen Zers want companies to understand them by observing their social media activity.

  • 52% of Gen Zers expect brands to analyze and make inferences from their social media posts.


Brands need to optimize their social media platforms to foster engagement such that it replicates the physical shopping experience that meets the expectations of Gen Zers. Giving the customer experience this consideration encourages loyalty and facilitates buying decisions from this desirable target audience.


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