GenZ and the UK Retail Market

To gain insight into the mindset of the Generation Z population, Research Now conducted extensive research across seven countries – the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Australia, Canada and the USA.

Research Now will present the complete findings at YMS London, on the main stage at 9.30am, 21 March; giving you an insight into the influence of “GenZers” on the UK retail sector. 

How they see themselves

The way UK GenZers describe themselves (honest, funny, realistic and reliable) is similar to other countries. However, they are more likely than any other EMEA country surveyed to describe themselves as “independent” and “individual”.

This is inherently no different from how younger generations have always seen themselves. What differs today is the method by which companies speak to this generation, i.e. via digital platforms. 

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Overcoming ad blocking software

While nearly two thirds (64%) of UK GenZers think that ad blocking software a great idea, only 12% uses such software. Nevertheless, it does suggest a willingness among GenZers to avoid advertising where possible. 

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UK GenZers are more likely than average to cite “fun” as the most important factor when looking at digital advertising. Ensuring that ads are fun will speak to this generation and may even keep them away from ad blocking software in the first place.

Which digital platform?

GenZers are currently using some form of social media daily, providing opportunities to target this true digital native. Snapchat is particularly popular in the UK. Brands (including retailers) utilising this platform will obviously have more opportunities to reach GenZ consumers. More impressions, however, are obviously no guarantee of more conversions. 


Snapchat Usage

44%   11+ times/day (UK)

YouTube is popular across all countries surveyed, with heaviest usage in the UK and France. It is also one of the most acceptable ways of contacting the GenZ consumer.

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Twitter also represents a key medium through which to target GenZ consumers in the UK. Overall usage among the GenZ population is among the heaviest in the UK in comparison to other countries surveyed. 

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The brand conscious GenZer

41% of UK GenZers like to be seen buying items from the most popular/on trend brands, compared with an all country average of 33%. This seemingly contradicts their propensity to see themselves as “individual” (in comparison with other countries surveyed), although represents the dichotomy of younger generations in general. 

Online shopping – preference vs. action

UK GenZers are more likely than their counterparts in the other EMEA countries surveyed to prefer shopping online because it’s convenient with their lifestyle. Among all countries surveyed, this is matched only by the USA.  

Despite a preference for online shopping, UK GenZers don’t spend a great deal of time shopping online via their smartphone. Preference clearly has little influence on habits. 

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Brexit and the GenZer

UK GenZers are more likely than their counterparts in any other country surveyed to say that Brexit will have a direct impact on their lives, at 64% compared with the all country average of 30%. 

Marketing strategies need careful planning

Research Now’s survey findings reveal a wide variety of metrics that set UK GenZers apart from the crowd –not only from older generations, but from their counterparts in other countries surveyed. Retailers looking to target the world’s first truly digital native consumer will need to plan their marketing strategies carefully. 

Get the full picture in our upcoming report and hear the full results live at YMS London on 21 March, 9.30am on the Main Stage.