FITCH reveals Gen Z’s “Five-point path to purchase”

Global design consultancy FITCH has conducted an international study in Europe, Russia and China to learn what influences purchasing behaviours of younger people aged 14-19, a so-called Gen Z. It was discovered that these shoppers, who represent the most culturally diverse type of consumers today, has their own “Five-point path to purchase.” The study is based on ethnographic interviews and first-hand feedbacks as well as design-focused observations.

This generation is known for being digitally native and for loving updates and upgrades, the study finds. Representatives of Gen Z are fast adopters and prefer to grasp the beta version of the product before a better, tested one is launched. They like to use tech products on the first stages of development and tend to share feedbacks on the yet-to-be-improved devices.

It has also been discovered that while in store, Gen Z shoppers navigate retail at eye level. When choosing the goods, they value touch and access and want the product price tags catch their eyes right away. The research also says that unlike two previous generations, X and Y, representatives of Gen Z don’t tend to make impulse purchases—there’s a considerable gap between seeing and buying. So, the brands are advised to connect and deeply engage with the teenagers during this “aspirational browsing” stage.

FITCH has figured out the “Five-point path to purchase” scheme consisting of the five distinct behaviours:

1. Finding Out: Teenagers identify their potential purchases during their non-stop multi-tasking that involves the use of tech devices and engaging with the social media universe.

2. Browsing: Before they even think about buying something, the Gen Zs prefer to google it. The research stage involves creating a digital scrapbook and a thorough price-check across digital platforms.

3. Decision Making: Approval from peers is an important component of a successful purchasing process in a modern teenager’s life. With this, younger consumers are seamlessly seeking for better alternatives and monitoring the prices using apps.

4. Buying: It’s quite acceptable for Gen Zs to buy goods that are sold not directly from a traditional retailer of brands’ venues. While modern teens value technical novelties, they can by products that have been already in use for a short time—they use bargain websites such as eBay and second-hand services that offer good deals.

5. Show & Tell: Purchasing a product is not the final point. The joy of owning the stuff is enhanced by the pleasure of demonstrating it to the peers with reviews and testimonies, usually in video.

“By 2020, today’s 14-19 year olds will be the largest group of consumers worldwide and FITCH believe that these lasting behaviours will be carried forward, requiring retailers and brand owners to fundamentally reconsider their proposition,” Alasdair Lennox, creative director of FITCH Europe & Russia. “The study will change the way retailers create their shopping experience for Gen Z. In many ways they’re just like the teens of previous generations, but with new tools to express their identities, discover new information and influence their peers.”

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