Shopping physically or online? Spanish Generation Z responds

The report titled "Spanish Generation Z and Fashion in a 'physital' world", prepared by Mazinn and Zetalab Global, demystifies misconceptions and misconceptions about fashion consumption among youth.


Generation Z comprises those born in the late 90s and early 2000s and are distinguished by their early contact and familiarity with digital technology, the Internet and social networks.

To tell the truth, talking about Generation Z is talking about a new concept for some, known for some characteristics for others, but little understood by everyone, and although their similarity with Millennials is great, the truth is that they have very defined traits:

Generation Z (born approximately between 1997 and 2012):

· Digital natives: They grew up with digital technology and social networks from an early age.
· Multitasking: They have the ability to do several things at the same time due to constant exposure to digital devices.
· Entrepreneurs: They are entrepreneurs and seek autonomy in their careers.
· Diversity and inclusion: They value ethnic, gender and sexual diversity, and fight for inclusion.
· Social activism: They have a strong social conscience and tend to get involved in important causes.

Millennials (born approximately between 1981 and 1996):

· Technological pioneers: Although they adopted digital technology, they experienced it later in their lives.
· Work-life balance: They valued work flexibility and balance between work and personal life.
· Optimists: They were influenced by a period of economic prosperity and are optimistic about the future.
· Individualists: Although they value collaboration, they also tend to seek personal success and self-actualization.
· Preference for experiences: They prioritize experiences over the acquisition of material goods and are conscious consumers.

Historical events and social movements, along with transformations in parenting, have shaped distinctive traits in Generation Z, also called Zillennials. The predominant dominance of the smartphone stands as its most prominent influence.

Today, the pioneering members of Generation Z are on the brink of finishing their college education or embarking on a job search, while younger people face the crossroads of selecting an academic career.

If asked where they mainly purchase their clothing, many would instinctively answer online platforms. However, the study 'Spanish Generation Z and Fashion in a 'physital' world' carried out by Mazinn and Zetalab Global, contradicts this perception.

After surveying and interviewing 360 young Spaniards between 13 and 25 years old, the report reveals that they still prefer the shopping experience in physical stores. In fact, 41% prefer to buy clothes in physical stores, compared to only 11% who opt for online shopping. Although they are digital natives, they find differential value in the physical shopping experience.

Currently, Generation Z does not show a clear preference for a specific channel, but rather their purchasing process develops omnichannel, varying depending on the type of garment and the moment. Although trying on clothes remains an important reason to shop in physical stores, for many young people, the experience of shopping in a physical store is in itself a leisure plan. However, other aspects of the purchasing process, such as discovery, recommendation and prescription, are primarily carried out through digital channels and social media.

Regarding the participation of this demographic in the second-hand market, only 24% sell clothing with the aim of promoting more responsible consumption, while 41% do so for economic reasons and 30% seek to diversify their clothes collection. This study highlights the increase in the purchase of second-hand clothing in recent years, considering it as an alternative that allows them to obtain unique and affordable products without feeling so much guilt.

The report also addresses the relationship between the much-mentioned metaverse and fashion and luxury brands. Projections indicate that by 2030, this parallel reality will generate profits of more than 50 billion euros for these brands. However, Generation Z respondents over the age of 17 still face barriers to the metaverse becoming a common fashion consumption channel.

Among the barriers identified by young people, the lack of connectivity, the limited immersion of the experience and the availability of more accessible and ergonomic glasses, among other aspects, stand out. Despite this, the use of video games and augmented reality could serve as an intermediate step towards more immersive environments. The two most popular metaverses among young people surveyed (13 to 17 years old) are Roblox, with 67%, and Horizon Worlds, with 43%, where the majority spend between 5 and 10 hours per week.

The study also identifies several opportunities for fashion brands to improve their connection with Generation Z in 2023. Here are some of them:

· Change the focus of communication, focusing it on the lifestyle around the brand, instead of focusing solely on the product.
· Establish spaces and moments of two-way dialogue with young people. Real community management is essential.
· Experiment and implement augmented reality solutions at critical points in the customer journey.
· Improve experiences in physical spaces as places of interaction between the brand and the user, as well as between the users themselves.
· Direct attention towards digital elements and functions that complement experiences, rather than simply replicating the value of the physical environment.
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