The Impact of Gen Z on Consumer Behaviour – A Paradigm Shift in the Marketplace

The emergence of Generation Z, born roughly between the mid-1990s and early 2010s, has ushered in a new era of consumer behaviour that is reshaping the way businesses approach marketing strategies. With their unique characteristics, preferences, and values, Gen Z is proving to be a force to be reckoned with in the marketplace.

In this article, we explore the profound impact of Gen Z on consumer behaviour and delve into three key points that correlate with performance marketing.

Digital Natives Redefining Shopping Patterns

Gen Z is the first generation to grow up in a fully digital world, and this has significantly influenced their approach to shopping. A 2022 survey by Pew Research Center found that 97% of Gen Z owns a smartphone, and they are accustomed to using technology for nearly every aspect of their lives. This digital native status has translated into a preference for online shopping, with platforms like Amazon and Instagram becoming key players in their purchasing journey.

Source: Pew Research Center – Teens, Social Media & Technology 2022

Authenticity Matters More Than Ever

Gen Z values authenticity and transparency from brands. They seek out products and services that align with their beliefs and are produced sustainably. This emphasis on authenticity extends to the marketing messages they engage with. According to a report by McKinsey, 73% of Gen Z consumers are willing to pay more for products that come from brands committed to social and environmental responsibility.

Influencer Marketing Takes Center Stage

In the age of social media, influencers play a crucial role in shaping Gen Z’s purchasing decisions. A study by Kantar Millward Brown revealed that 70% of Gen Z follows at least one influencer on social media, and 44% trust influencers more than traditional celebrities. This shift in trust dynamics has prompted businesses to leverage influencer marketing as a powerful tool for reaching and resonating with this generation.

Emphasis on Social Commerce

As social media becomes an integral part of Gen Z’s daily life, the line between socializing and shopping has blurred. Social commerce, the integration of e-commerce within social media platforms, has gained traction. Gen Z is more likely to make impulsive purchases directly from social media platforms. Brands that strategically implement social commerce in their performance marketing strategies can tap into this trend, facilitating a seamless transition from discovery to purchase.

Demand for Instant Gratification

Gen Z, accustomed to the immediacy of the digital age, has a heightened expectation for instant gratification. This desire for quick results extends to their shopping habits, as seen in the rise of services like same-day delivery and one-click purchasing. Performance marketers need to optimize their strategies to cater to this need for instant gratification, offering streamlined purchasing processes and swift delivery options.

Correlation to Performance Marketing

(a) Real-Time Campaign Optimization: To align with Gen Z’s desire for instant results, performance marketers can employ real-time analytics to continuously optimize campaigns. This involves swift adjustments based on real-time data, ensuring that marketing efforts remain relevant and effective in the rapidly changing digital landscape.

(b) Agile Supply Chain Management: Meeting Gen Z’s demand for quick delivery requires a responsive and agile supply chain. Performance marketers can collaborate with supply chain teams to ensure that inventory is readily available, enabling prompt fulfilment of orders and meeting Gen Z’s expectations for fast, reliable service.

Preference for Sustainability

Gen Z’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond purchasing eco-friendly products; they actively seek brands that align with their values. A Nielsen study found that 73% of Gen Z is willing to pay more for sustainable products. This shift in consumer behaviour is driving businesses to incorporate sustainability into their marketing messages and product offerings.

Championing Diversity and Inclusivity

Gen Z is notably diverse and socially conscious, advocating for inclusivity and representation in all aspects of life. Brands that embrace diversity in their marketing campaigns resonate more effectively with this generation. Performance marketers can enhance their strategies by ensuring that advertising content reflects the diverse perspectives and backgrounds of Gen Z, fostering a sense of inclusivity and authenticity.

Correlation to Performance Marketing

Inclusive Advertising Strategies: Performance marketers can leverage data to identify diverse audience segments within Gen Z and tailor advertising strategies to resonate with these specific demographics. In doing so, brands can create campaigns that authentically connect with a wide range of Gen Z consumers.

The Power of User-Generated Content

Gen Z values the opinions and experiences of their peers, and user-generated content (UGC) has become a powerful tool for influencing their purchasing decisions. Brands that encourage and showcase UGC in their marketing efforts can build trust and authenticity. UGC serves as social proof, reinforcing the credibility of a brand through the real-life experiences of fellow Gen Z consumers.

Performance marketers can design campaigns that actively involve Gen Z in creating content, such as hashtag challenges, contests, or product reviews. By leveraging UGC, brands can amplify their reach and impact while building a community around their products or services.


In conclusion, the impact of Gen Z on consumer behaviour is multifaceted and continuously evolving. This generation’s digital nativity, emphasis on authenticity, and unique social and environmental consciousness are reshaping the marketing landscape. To thrive in this dynamic environment, performance marketers must remain attuned to the evolving preferences of Gen Z, leveraging data, embracing innovation, and incorporating sustainability and inclusivity into their strategies. By doing so, businesses can forge lasting connections with this influential demographic, ensuring long-term success in the ever-evolving marketplace.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Ankoor Dasguupta
Ankoor, President’s Select Member of Leaders Excellence [MLE] at Harvard Square, is a prominent figure in the industry, serves as a mentor, advisor, and speaker at the Indian Institute of Film Training & Digital Marketing (IFTDM). Holding a significant role on the Advisory Board of the Marketing Department at ISBR Business School, Ankoor is also on the Advisory Board of Global Mathematics & Mathematics Olympiad Graded Assessment Test with Competition. Ankoor is also an empanelled Speaker at SpeakIn which also runs the Indian Speaker Bureau.

Extending beyond academia; Ankoor has been honoured with the "CIRCLE OF EXCELLENCE 2024" award by Passion Vista and recognized as the "MAN OF EXCELLENCE, 2024" by the prestigious Indian Achievers' Award. Additionally, he received the "LEADER 2.0 AWARD, 2023" from adgully and was named a "DIGITAL KAIZEN LEADER by DigiAdCon 2024”, Ankoor’s contributions to the field of marketing are widely acclaimed, marking him as an inspiring thought leader in his domain. Ankoor is also a member of IMA India’s CMO Forum.

Ankoor is a key member of the esteemed International CMO Council, member of MarketingKind, and also a GLG Council Member. Ankoor keeps delivering lectures at top Business Schools and colleges at University of Delhi. As an industry expert, Ankoor has also been a member of the interview panel at MICA for their PGP Group Exercise & Personal Interview PI process for PGDM-C/PGDM selection for two consecutive years.

Recognized by DMA Asia as a marketing Ace, Ankoor is now also a LinkedIn Top Voice, advocate of social impact, driven by kaizen, Ankoor believes in the power of Energy and Energize

Ankoor is practicing his PCC (Level 2) coaching from the gold standard International Coaching Federation [ICF]. Ankoor is a people's person and has worked across functions in marketing and advertising with a pedigree of 24 years and ongoing exciting journey. Trained from Dale Carnegie in Mentoring to Develop Talent, Ankoor is a marketing practitioner, a coach, a knowledge manager, a team builder, a thought-leader, an avid writer with close to 100 published articles / interviews and is a Thought Leader, Ankoor wears the hat of a CMO as well. Ankoor's leisure pursuits are reading, effective listening and percussion.

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