Gen Z type shopper steps up, more educated and digitally connected

We look at the new type of shopper. Image prompted using AI. Marcus Moloko

There’s a different type of shopper on the market, and that kind of shopper is educated, socially aware, and more digitally connected than ever.

Generation Z, born between the late 1990s and early 2010s, is rapidly emerging as a powerful consumer force. With their distinct spending habits and values, retailers must adapt their strategies to remain relevant in this digital age.

Understanding Gen Z preferences

According to Steven Heilbron, CEO of Capital Connect, a South African fintech company, Gen Z represents the future of retail. He emphasizes the importance of understanding their preferences, particularly in a young country like South Africa, to ensure business growth.

Key trends shaping the retail landscape

Social media savvy: Gen Z spends a significant amount of time on social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok. Retailers can leverage these platforms for promotions and advertising, ensuring their campaigns are visually appealing and interactive to stand out.

Experiences over exclusivity: Having missed out on social experiences due to lockdowns, Gen Z prioritizes real-world interactions. Retailers can create engaging in-store environments with unique aesthetics, interactive displays, and workshops, transforming stores into social media-worthy destinations.

Financial innovation: Being financially savvy, Gen Z appreciates flexible payment options like Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) services and seamless digital payment solutions like mobile wallets.

Sustainability focus: Environmentally conscious, Gen Z values sustainable practices. Retailers can attract them by offering eco-friendly products and highlighting their green initiatives.

Side hustle support: Many Gen Z individuals juggle side hustles alongside studies or jobs. Retailers can cater to this entrepreneurial spirit by offering products relevant to their independent ventures, with a focus on electronics and technology.

Practical spending: Research suggests Gen Z often lives in multigenerational households, contributing to family needs. Their spending reflects this practicality, focusing on high-quality, affordable essentials.

Building relationships with Gen Z

By understanding these trends and adapting accordingly, retailers can foster long-term relationships with Gen Z customers. This includes catering to their digital lifestyle, entrepreneurial spirit, and concern for community and family.

The role of fintech in retail transformation

Heilbron concludes by highlighting the importance of access to capital for retailers looking to adapt. Financing solutions like Capital Connect’s “click & borrow” system can provide quick and flexible funding to support inventory acquisition, store renovations, e-commerce ventures, and other business needs.

Gen Z presents both challenges and opportunities for the retail sector.

By embracing their evolving preferences and leveraging innovative financial tools, retailers can ensure they remain relevant and competitive in the years to come.

Also read:The evolving role of financial officers (



Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights. sign up

Welcome to Memeburn

Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights.