Now that Generation Z has some purchasing power of its own, many of these young internet users are turning to the opinions of strangers to decide what they should buy—just like their older counterparts.
In an April 2018 survey conducted by The Center for Generational Kinetics, roughly two-thirds of US Gen Z respondents (ages 13 to 22) said they will read at least three product reviews prior to making a first-time purchase.
As digital natives, it’s not surprising that this group would gather information on a product they’re interested in buying, especially when using their own money. Some 27% of respondents look at three to four user-generated reviews before committing to a purchase, and about one-fifth said they consider five to six reviews.
Female Gen Zers are slightly more likely than their male cohorts to take user-generated product reviews into consideration, according to the survey. This was most apparent among those who said they look at nine or more reviews (21% of females vs. 11% of males) when deciding whether something is worth buying.
Past studies also show that digital shoppers of all ages in the US trust strangers' reviews more than a personal recommendation.
Aside from considering product reviews from ordinary people, Gen Zers also look to the opinions and recommendations of social media influencers. Nearly half (46%) of Gen Zers polled follow 10 or more influencers, and 10% of respondents follow more than 50 influencer accounts.