Saturday, July 13, 2024

From Investments to Ethical Shopping: How Zillennials Are Redefining Consumer Behavior

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Zillennials — the bridge generation comprising younger millennials and older members of Generation Z — with their growing earning and purchasing power, are poised to significantly impact the economy in the near future.

“This is the cohort for whom digital is native to their generation but who are transitioning from school to the workforce,” PYMNTS CEO Karen Webster observed in a recent feature. “They are deeply dependent on mobile devices and apps to navigate the digital economy. And more than their older peers, they are a generation for whom mobile and apps have changed how they work, bank, pay and shop.”

Here’s what you need to know about this micro-generation, spanning those born between 1991 and 1999, per “Generation Zillennial,” a PYMNTS Intelligence special report drawing from a survey of more than 3,000 U.S. consumers.

Zillennials Live Paycheck to Paycheck, But They Get By

Zillennials are the likeliest of all consumers to be financially unstable but not necessarily financially struggling. Forty-six percent of individuals in this age bracket reported that they live paycheck to paycheck without issues paying bills, a greater share than any other generation.

Conversely, 30% of zillennials live paycheck to paycheck with issues paying bills, and only 23% do not live paycheck to paycheck. After millennials, zillennials are the second-likeliest to live paycheck to paycheck overall.

Zillennials Flock to Major Metropolises

Zillennials are the likeliest of all consumers, the study found, to live in urban areas, with 39% of individuals in this age bracket doing so, versus 33% of Gen Z, 37% of millennials, and just 30% of Generation X and Baby Boomers and Seniors. This trend may highlight a growing preference among zillennials for the amenities and lifestyle opportunities that urban living offers.

Zillennials Like to Invest

Zillennials show a higher level of engagement in investing compared to the average consumer. In the past month, one-third of them have invested in various assets such as stocks, mutual funds and cryptocurrencies, whereas only 25% of the overall population has done the same.

This is in spite of their outstanding debt. Eighty-two percent of zillennials indicate at least one such type of debt, versus 77% of the general population.

Zillennials Love a Subscription

Zillennials are far likelier than the population overall to hold subscriptions. Three-quarters of consumers in this bridge generation shared that they paid for at least one monthly subscription in the last month, versus 63% of the overall sample. Those in this age group with cash to burn are the likeliest of all to seek out subscriptions, with 84% of high-income zillennials having made such a payment compared to 76% of high-income consumers writ large.

Zillennial Shoppers Want to Buy Ethically

Zillennials are likelier than the broader population to factor in social and environmental concerns when deciding where to shop. These consumers disproportionately consider it to be very or extremely important that a merchant is local or community-owned, that its social values align with theirs, that it offers environmentally sustainable brands or products and that it sells locally made or sourced products. The latter two, especially, are likely to be strong considerations for the Zillennial shopper.

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