Ever wondered what hooks the elusive Gen Z beauty consumer?
A new research report by Klarna in collaboration with Sephora Australia sheds light on what Zoomers care about when it comes to beauty brands they support, product development, and shopping experiences.
Contrary to the generic stereotype of ‘youth’, Gen Z are pragmatic, conservative with their spending, and values financial literacy— a stark contrast from Millennials who are generally more idealist and indulgent when it comes to money. While this doesn’t necessarily mean Gen Z won’t spend on luxury products or pricier items, it does mean that brands need to adapt their strategies to reach this unique cohort.
First, it comes as no surprise that Gen Z care about sustainability, ethical production, and environmental impact when it comes to the products they buy. By default, this means Gen Z have less brand loyalty than previous generations and are open to switching between brands if they feel the company does not align with their values— a point supported by Klarna’s findings that 44% of 18-24-year-olds tend to go for smaller brands and 43% report switching brands regularly.
Despite Gen Z’s tendency towards conscious consumerism, Klarna found they buy “a lot more frequently” than older generations and indicated they plan to spend the same or more on beauty products in the next year— both online and in-store, as Gen Z actually enjoy shopping IRL more than Millennials.
And the biggest incentive for Gen Z to buy a product or try something new? Sales and promotions— a stat that holds true for their Millennial counterparts, as well. According to Klarna, 41% of beauty consumers report they do buy when there’s a promotion. That figure jumps to 45% for 25-34-year-olds.
Possibly the most interesting finding from the report, however, is the impact influencer marketing has on consumers in 2021. With social media and influencer marketing saturating beauty advertising in recent years, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who didn’t stanching believe in the selling power of influencers. Klarna’s research somewhat debunks this belief, finding that only 11% of beauty consumers are persuaded to try a new product through influencer marketing. When it comes to Gen Z specifically, this impact varies, as research by Campaign Monitor finds that 33% of Gen Z report buying something after seeing it on social media just once in the past month.
Regardless, Klarna finds that a recommendation from friends and family is by far the most influential factor across generations in this area, with 42% of consumers reporting this contributes to their decision to try new products.
With Gen Z’s purchasing power continuing to increase year on year, it’s clear this generation is ready and willing to shake up the beauty industry, shifting expectations for the brands and products they love.