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Gen Z students prioritise tech despite living cost crisis
Fri, 1st Mar 2024

A recent survey conducted by UNiDAYS, a global Gen Z affinity network, has unveiled compelling insights into the purchasing habits of Gen Z. The survey reveals that this tech-savvy generation is more likely to buy specific tech items for particular tasks and activities and keep up with the latest versions purely due to desire.

The Technology Deep-dive Student Insight Report presented findings from a study of more than 5,200 students from the United Kingdom, done in November and December last year. In spite of an ongoing cost of living crisis, it underlined that students are more prone to buying high-end, task-specific tech items. 39% purchase laptops, 38% PCs and 36% tablets for specific activities like studying, gaming, or work. Flying in the face of trends in other generations, Gen Z values quality above the price tag when it comes to high-end tech items, the report says.

Moreover, a significantly larger proportion of Gen Z, around 30%, buy based on purpose than millennials (8.5%), Gen X (6.3%), or baby boomers (4.8%). Commenting on this, Juandr Bekker, Technology Category Lead at UNiDAYS, highlighted, "Born into a world of rapid technological advancement, Gen Z leverages technology not just as a tool but as an integral part of their life for studying, socialising, and unwinding."

Student consumers are not only focused on specificity and quality, but also on staying trendy. Approximately 37% buy smartphones, 31% cameras, and 31% game consoles merely because they want it or crave a newer version. This indicates a unique need-want balance, where Gen Z alternates between buying for specific tasks and simply buying to own something new.

Bekker also emphasised the need for tech brands to grasp this need-want harmony in order to appeal to Gen Z consumers, stating, "Brands aiming to resonate with this influential demographic must align themselves with the values, aesthetics, and digital fluency that define them". Gen Z's unique preferences and tech-savvy characteristics are reshaping the current landscape of technology consumption and paving new pathways for future trends in the industry.

This generation has different expectations, priorities, and desires compared to the ones preceding them. Their meticulous and value-driven approach when it comes to purchasing technology showcases their keen eye for quality and loyalty towards brands. As the Technology Deep-dive Student Insight Report suggests, Gen Z are keen buyers with specified needs, leading brands to consider their values and aesthetics while creating products for this generation.