Millennials vs. Gen Z: How Are They Different?

Discipline is important, but there is much more to it

They both spend a lot but have different priorities and habits

Age segregation is the contrast in values and behaviors between people of different generations. Millennials (1981-1996) and Gen Z (1997-2012) are two generations with disparities in mindset. Millennials are tech-savvy and live an active social life, while Gen Zers are diverse, independent, and environmentally conscious. With compared peculiarities in mind, build consistent communication and effective marketing efforts, using opportunities of CRM systems.

What is the Millennial age range?

Millennials vs. Gen Z: How Are They Different?

The group typically includes people born between the early 1980s to the mid-1990s or early 2000s. However, there is no generally accepted definition for the precise birth year range of the Millennial generation (Generation Y). The Pew Research Center considers them to be born between 1981 and 1996, while other research institutions may incline to slightly different figures.

What is the Generation Z age range?

Millennials vs. Gen Z: How Are They Different?

Audience means attention. Although social media giants like Facebook and Twitter have vast user bases, email marketing offers a broader reach. Facebook boasts over 1.35 billion users, Twitter Generation Z, also known as Gen Z or the iGeneration, encompasses individuals born between the mid-1990s and the mid-2010s. Social media browsing is a solid habit for this group. Gen Zers expect digital service convenience typical of fast online shopping no matter what they do. Most demographers agree that the birth years of Gen Z lay between approximately 1997 and 2012. Nevertheless, there is an ongoing discussion about the exact birth timeframe of this generation.

Millennials vs. Gen Z: How are these generations different?

Millennials vs. Gen Z: How Are They Different?

Millennials and Gen Z exhibit noticeable attitude differences. Yet both groups can only leave home with their favorite gadgets and panic when the mobile internet is slow or absent. With all traits compared, here is what constitutes the generation gap:

  1. Both generations rely on digital tools, yet Zoomers got used to online tools much earlier and understand how to handle multiple devices. More senior users prefer Facebook, while Zoomers enjoy visual content and go with Instagram and TikTok.
  2. Millennials are often more focused on their careers and good work-life balance. Gen Zers prioritize financial stability, exploring entrepreneurship, and freelancing.
  3. Gen Zers embrace the diversity of different generations. Millennials enjoy communication with like-minded peers mainly.
  4. Gen Zers are politically neutral and indifferent to racial and gender identity. However, they recognize the significance of climate change and LGBTQ+ rights.
  5. Zoomers prefer messaging apps and video calls, while Generation Y mostly uses email and phone calls. People of generation Z prefer online shopping to retail outlets and are more flexible with brands.

Both shop online – but Millennials like in-store purchases for instant gratification

Millennials vs. Gen Z: How Are They Different?

Digital shopping offers products that match your most exquisite taste. However, there are some pros to going to brick-and-mortar outlets well-known to millennials. Why do they go out and buy stuff from retailers?

  1. Gen Y prefers to touch products in person before buying, which can be more immersive.
  2. Digital shopping offers convenience, yet it involves waiting for delivery. Old-fashioned purchases give immediate rewards and satisfaction.
  3. In-store purchase implies social interaction.
  4. Some Millennials understand the environmental impact of online shopping, packaging, and shipping.

For Gen Z, convenience is all about fast delivery

Millennials vs. Gen Z: How Are They Different?

Gen Zers like one-day delivery. Competition has led to the growth of abundant personalized experiences and unique loyalty programs in all industries. With instant access to services, Zoomers expect equal convenience in shopping and delivery.

With the rise of speedy shipping, Gen Zers prefer online food, medication, and clothes purchases. Many retailers have enhanced their supply chains to meet these expectations, bringing your purchase on the same day.

The pandemic contributed to the shift to online shopping, and many Gen Zers rely heavily on fast delivery services, reluctant to leave their homes.

Gen Z enjoys social media shopping, while Millennials are more traditional

Millennials vs. Gen Z: How Are They Different?

Gen Zers have grown up immersed in social media platforms. Instagram and Snapchat have become integral to their daily lives as Zoomers prefer interaction online. Social media have evolved from media-sharing tools to a place where businesses advertise and sell their goods.

Zoomers understand the potential of media networks. They discover and purchase products directly from their favorite brands and influencers with just a few clicks. They get personalized updates on sales without leaving the platform.

Millennials are more traditional in shopping, rely on conventional platforms, and are less likely to purchase from social media platforms.

Millennials would shop from established retailers instead, whereas Zoomers prefer to support smaller local brands.

Gen Z prefers fee-based loyalty programs, and Millennials earn points

Millennials vs. Gen Z: How Are They Different?

Zoomers prefer fee-based loyalty programs and unique experiences over collecting points. They appreciate early access to new products and personalized discounts.

Gen Z value subscription services to tailored content or products for a monthly fee. Moreover, the younger generation is more frugal, often choosing used items instead of buying new ones from retail. Inflation impacts the habits of all groups, but millennials are more likely to get loans and choose installment plans – they value experience and instant rewards.

Millennials prefer points programs like airline miles or credit card points. They are more willing to save money through discounts on future purchases. They are more focused on building their credit score to achieve financial goals.

Are Gen Z shoppers less loyal?

Millennials vs. Gen Z: How Are They Different?

Gen Z shoppers may appear less loyal than senior generations, as they prioritize convenience over specific brands. Zoomers grew up with access to a variety of brands than ever before, so they are picky about prices, quality, and customer experience. Inflation makes them prioritize costs over loyalty.

They shop around, compare prices, try something new, and switch products to their needs.

Zoomers choose brands based on their values and personalized benefits.

Companies often align with their preferences, offering convenient experiences.

Selling across the generations

Millennials vs. Gen Z: How Are They Different?

Companies should be flexible to sell equally to Gen Y and Zoomers, taking advantage of their buying capacity. The following strategies help establish steady and equal profit sources.

  1. Both generations value personalized experiences and engage with brands that offer tailored recommendations. Use data analysis to understand each generation's behavior and meet their unique needs.
  2. All young clients prioritize commitment to social responsibility and charity.
  3. Companies can sell via social media, mobile apps, and websites to engage with clients and offer convenient shopping online. Both age categories are digital-friendly.
  4. Both generations appreciate installment payments or pay-later options. Companies can offer more accessible products to mitigate inflation impact.
  5. Create loyalty programs to meet both groups’ demands with personalized offers.

Audience research and preferences data help you cater to clients' values and priorities. Sell more with digital innovation, social initiatives, and tailored experiences.

Industry expertise 
Artur Voznenko
June 9, 2023

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