Gen Z, the largest generation in the world, holds significant sway over the beauty industry despite not having the same per capita spending power as older generations. However, their passion for beauty and the environment is evident. To gain insights into Gen Z’s shopping habits and influences, the Pull Agency conducted a survey of 1,200 UK consumers.

Currently, Gen Z consumers, ranging from four to 24 years old, collectively spend £7 billion annually on beauty products. They are also heavily focused on technology, spending an average of 10.6 hours a day consuming content through their devices. This generation expects instant access to unlimited information and entertainment, and the beauty industry must adapt to meet these demands.

Interestingly, more than half of Gen Z consumers prefer to purchase health and beauty products in physical stores, unlike other age groups. However, their shopping habits are diverse. While some research and buy online, others research online and then make in-store purchases. Some even do both research and purchase in-store. Only a small percentage test products in-store and make online purchases, debunking the belief of “showrooming” among Gen Z consumers.

Gen Z consumers prioritize topical issues that affect the beauty industry. They value keywords related to wellness, health, natural products, technology, artificial intelligence, environment, environmentally-friendly, cruelty-free, and skincare. This indicates that they are sophisticated shoppers seeking advanced, sustainable products that incorporate technology while being kind to their skin and overall health.

Surprisingly, even young consumers play a significant role in the beauty market. By the age of 14, 60% of Gen Z have already purchased a beauty product, surpassing the percentage among Millennials. Some even start buying beauty products before the age of 12.

Instagram is the primary platform for discovering looks and trends that influence Gen Z’s purchases, surpassing the reliance of Millennials on the platform. YouTube is another important platform for inspiration. Traditional sources like physical stores and magazines have minimal impact on Gen Z’s discovery process.

Despite their online research habits, physical stores remain important to Gen Z consumers. However, physical retailers need to ensure their research efforts lead consumers to their stores. Establishing a presence where Gen Z consumers search for information and garnering positive reactions from them is crucial. Product ratings and reviews significantly influence Gen Z consumers, showcasing the importance of building trust and credibility.

Engaging with influencers is key to making effective connections with Gen Z consumers, as they have the most significant impact on purchase decisions. Friends also hold influence, while celebrities have less sway.

When it comes to shopping preferences, high street chemists like Boots and Superdrug are favored by Gen Z consumers. Specialist retailers like The Body Shop or Holland & Barrett attract a smaller percentage. However, supermarkets are most convenient for replenishing previously purchased products. Immersive beauty halls and virtual testing technologies may see growth in the future.

Technology plays a substantial role in the beauty industry for Gen Z consumers. Augmented and virtual reality are of interest to them, and voice search is gaining importance. As Gen Z continues to use voice search to discover products, this channel has the potential to develop further. It is worth noting that most Gen Z consumers conduct voice searches at home, which may see an increase given the current stay-at-home measures.

In conclusion, Gen Z’s influence on the beauty industry is significant, and their shopping habits are heavily influenced by technology. Retailers must ensure their online presence leads Gen Z consumers to their physical stores. Positive reactions from consumers and engagement with beauty influencers are crucial. Augmented and virtual reality, as well as voice search, are key areas of focus for the future of the industry. Understanding and catering to the preferences and priorities of Gen Z consumers will be vital for success in the beauty industry.

Useful links:
Cosmopolitan: Beauty Shopping Habits of Gen Z
WARC: Gen Z’s Influence on the Beauty Industry