Trend in style: 4 tips for fashion brands to better understand and connect with adult Gen Z shoppers

September 22, 2022 | By Irene Oh, Sr. Content Marketing Manager, Fashion

Girl posing on a blue background

Raised on the internet and social media, Gen Z (ages 18–25) is made up of digital natives whose daily lives are deeply intertwined with technology. This group doesn’t just view brands simply as an addition to their closets. Rather, adult Gen Z increasingly backs their beliefs with their shopping habits, favoring brands that are aligned with their values and avoiding those that don’t.1 According to an Edelman study, 84% of adult Gen Z buys and advocates based on their values.2 This suggests that a majority of this audience views their purchases—including their fashion choices—as extensions of their personal values, and are motivated to make purchase decisions based on their beliefs.

Amazon Ads has leveraged intelligence from the 2021 Kantar U.S. MONITOR study to understand the defining attitudes and values of Amazon’s adult Gen Z audience compared to all adult Gen Z audiences.3 Amazon Ads has also conducted a custom “Gen Z and Fashion” survey with Kantar to help brands understand how to better connect with U.S. adult Gen Z fashion shoppers. The responses showed that these shoppers have a desire for variety, exhibit an indifference toward brand names, and actively consume digital media. Here are four takeaways for brands to provide a better experience for adult Gen Z fashion shoppers.

1. Adult Gen Z audiences reported engaging with Amazon again and again (and again)

According to the Kantar U.S. MONITOR study, adult Gen Z consumers actively shop on Amazon: 85% of adult Gen Zers who participated in the study responded that they’ve shopped with Amazon in the past four weeks.4 What’s more is that 60% of adult Gen Z audiences responded that they visit the Amazon store at least weekly, and 65% said they plan to spend more time shopping in the Amazon store in the future.5 This generation has purchased recently, consistently, and plan to buy with Amazon in the future—suggesting that Amazon can be an effective channel for brands looking to engage with this digitally immersed group.

What we recommend

Since adult Gen Z audiences appear to be highly engaged with Amazon’s store according to our study, consider special perks or loyalty programs for frequent shoppers as a thank you to cultivate repeat purchases. Additionally, adult Gen Z consumers who regularly engage with Amazon’s store responded that they are 1.2x more likely to value convenience and ways to save time.6 For example, a brand can combine an easy checkout process with messaging that highlights quality and low prices when engaging with this audience.

2. This generation craves variety

In line with their exploratory spirit, adult Gen Z fashion audiences prefer to curate their own sense of style across different brands: 61% of respondents said they like to mix and match items from different brands, while 24% said they are open to receiving recommendations to mix and match items. The adult Gen Z fashion audience is less likely to purchase head-to-toe outfits from the same brand (only 15% say they do).7 If brands want to keep up with this generation’s tastes, it may be helpful to pursue ways to complement their diverse closets, rather than strive to be the only brand in their closets.

What we recommend

Because adult Gen Z audiences like to piece together outfits from different brands, consider reaching audiences who regularly shop for related products. For example, audiences with an interest in sports might have a preference for athletic shoes and athleisure apparel. Based on this information, you can also find similar audiences who like or engage with your brand.

3. It’s not always about the brand name

According to our study, the majority of adult Gen Z audiences don’t necessarily prioritize brand names when shopping for fashion: Less than half (48%) of adult Gen Z shoppers responded that they like to buy from big, well-established brands.8 As a result, brands do not necessarily need to rely on their brand names to close the sale with adult Gen Z fashion audiences. That’s good news for everyone—advertisers have an opportunity help drive discovery based on other characteristics like product quality, company values and story, and more.

What we recommend

In order to reach receptive audiences, focus on reinforcing alignment with adult Gen Z’s interests and values. For example, brands that align their collections or brand story with the humor or viral trends of Gen Z may be able to get buy-in from these audiences. A clear, public stance on current issues may also help brands establish genuine connections with adult Gen Z audiences who hold similar sentiments. Additionally, since adult Gen Z isn’t tied to brands and craves an eclectic closet, discovery is an essential part of this audience’s purchase journey. Consider activating upper-funnel solutions, like Twitch and streaming TV.

4. Be where the fun is: Streaming TV and Twitch

Although it’s a no-brainer that adult Gen Z is digital-first, it’s important to recognize how exactly they’re spending their free time. Among adult Gen Z’s top 10 leisure activities, watching movies and TV at home ranked No. 1.9 Beyond keeping up to date with the latest episodes of their favorite series, adult Gen Z fashion shoppers are also highly engaged with Twitch: 62% of adult Gen Z fashion shoppers responded that they engage with Twitch weekly.10 Twitch is where the buzz is, and adult Gen Z fashion audiences are happily there to watch the latest livestreams from their favorite creators.

What we recommend

Streaming TV ads are an opportunity reach and connect with highly engaged adult Gen Z audiences at scale. Consider incorporating premium streaming TV content including Freevee, Twitch, live sports on Prime Video, top TV network and broadcast apps, and the News app on Fire TV.

Want to turn these adult Gen Z fashion insights into action? Contact us or learn more about fashion marketing with Amazon Ads.

2 Edelman “New Cascade of Influence” Study, June 2022, US
3 The 2021 Kantar U.S. MONITOR is a comprehensive annual study of American, adult Gen Z consumers (age 18-24 at the time of the study) to understand the defining attitudes and values, behaviors, financial needs, and media habits of the adult Amazon Gen Z audience compared to all adult Gen Z audiences.
4 Kantar MONITOR study, 2021, US
5 Gen Z and Fashion Custom Questionnaire, Feb 2022, US
6 Kantar MONITOR study, 2021, US
7-8 Gen Z and Fashion Custom Questionnaire, Feb 2022, US
9 Kantar MONITOR study, 2021, US
10 GWI; Amazon Internal, January-November 2021, U.S