Clock icon 14 min read Calendar icon May 19, 2023

Inside The Gen Z Mind: How Gen Z Navigates the Information Age


Snipp conducted the "Inside the Gen Z Mind" survey with the goal of better understanding the American “Gen Z” or “Zoomer” generation’s consumer behaviors and preferences. Representing 40% of the U.S. population, generation Z will be 30% of the global workforce by 2030 with an estimated buying power of $360 billion in disposable income. The survey aimed at uncovering Gen Z's information-seeking habits in the digital age, fascinating insights emerged regarding their approach to reading news, product research and discovery. 

News about World Events  

When it comes to seeking news about world events, the preferences of Gen Z differ significantly based on gender. The survey revealed that -  

  • TikTok is the top news source for 49.83% of female respondents. 
  • Instagram is the preferred news source for 41.46% of female respondents. 
  • Traditional media ranks third with 39.37% among female respondents. 
  • Facebook holds the fourth position with 35.54% among female respondents. 

On the other hand,  

  • YouTube is the primary news source for 55.87% of male respondents. 
  • Instagram is relied upon for news by 41.31% of male respondents. 
  • Traditional media ranks third with 38.50% among male respondents. 
  • Both TikTok and Twitter are tied for fourth place with 34.74% each among male respondents. 

Gen Z Survey World Events


These findings highlight the contrasting preferences between women and men in obtaining news about world events.

Findings - Brand and Product Discovery 

The product discovery behavior of Gen Z closely aligns with their news consumption patterns, reflecting their digital upbringing.  

Gen Z Survey Brand Discovery

This generation, accustomed to advanced technology and constant connectivity, seeks out brands that demonstrate transparency, inclusivity, and foster vibrant online communities. Capitalizing on social media's potential to establish personal connections, brands are leveraging platforms like TikTok to engage Gen Z consumers more deeply.  

According to TikTok's Global Retail Path to Purchase report - 

  • Nearly half of its users discover new products through brand and user-generated content, with a substantial 37% making purchases shortly after.  
  • TikTok boasts the highest social media engagement rate per post, with influencers driving a 20% engagement rate compared to Instagram's 6.15% and YouTube's 5.22%. 

This makes TikTok an efficient channel for brands to expand their reach, generate awareness, and drive sales among a broader audience. 

Product Research Before Purchase 

Gen Z exhibits a strong preference for conducting their own research when it comes to making purchasing decisions.

Gen Z Survey Product Research

While influencers may not rank as high, they still serve as an important channel for gathering product content, images, videos, and driving reviews and ratings. 

The survey also highlights 68% of Gen Z consumers read or watch a minimum of three reviews before making a first-time purchase, with 16% engaging with nine or more ratings and reviews. This aligns with their preference for gathering information independently using the digital tools they are accustomed to. Gen Z places value on user-generated ratings, which provide social proof and third-party validation that retailers and brands may not directly offer. McKinsey's research further emphasizes that products with a rating of 3.5 stars or higher account for 95% of units purchased in the highest-selling categories, reinforcing the significance of ratings in Gen Z's decision-making process. 

Influencer Impact on Purchases 

The survey findings highlight the role influencers play in driving product awareness and consideration. Approximately 18% of the respondents rely on influencers as a channel for product discovery. The impact of influencers varies between male and female respondents, with distinct preferences for different categories.  

Gen Z Survey Influencer Impact

The upbringing of Gen Z, characterized by pandemic lockdowns, virtual learning, and routine security drills, has shaped their pragmatic and grounded outlook towards the people they look up to and receive advice from. Traditional celebrity culture has been replaced by the authenticity of influencers' "real-life" worlds, where anyone can be a star content creator, even though some aspects of influencers' lives may be staged. 

Brands have adopted diverse strategies to leverage influencer marketing to drive sales. For instance, H&M initially hired a large number of creators, rotating them monthly to quickly build public awareness. However, this approach fell short of resonating with audiences seeking more authentic connections. Consequently, H&M shifted to partnering with 20 specific influencers for year-long collaborations, allowing followers to develop a deeper connection with the creators and elevating H&M's brand and product attributes more directly to drive sales. 


The findings of the Gen Z survey provide valuable insights into how this generation navigates the information age and approaches their purchasing decisions. Gen Z's preferences and behaviors are strongly influenced by their digital upbringing and constant connectivity. 

In conclusion, understanding Gen Z's information-seeking habits and purchase habits is essential for brands aiming to capture their attention and loyalty. Gen Z's reliance on digital platforms, preference for authenticity, and emphasis on personal research and social proof shape their consumer behavior. Brands must adapt their marketing strategies to meet the unique needs and expectations of Gen Z to effectively engage and drive sales among this influential generation. 

Inside the Gen Z Mind

The survey results reveal new insights into the Gen Z psyche that will impact how you approach marketing to remain relevant. So read on to learn more! Or Download the full report here.