Holiday season 2017: Gen Z wants Instagrammable gifts under the tree

Whatever gifts Gen Z gets this Holiday season, the gift-givers needs to keep one point in mind. They MUST be Instagrammable. That’s the conclusion of media firm Sweety High’s 2017 Gen Z Holiday Gifting and Influencer report.

Some 58% of girls aged 13-16 prefer to get presents that are “Instagram-worthy”, which is perhaps no surprise as this is a generation that has grown up with social media and all-things digital.

It’s the first time the company has run such a survey and in speaking to over 600 girls aged 13-22, it also found that ultra-connectivity is a big theme on their wish lists this season.

Among the 13-16 year-old group, 42% want a laptop, so ‘traditional’ computing is clearly not dead yet for this generation. And more of Gen Z of all ages want something digital (51%) than want beauty products (49%), so that’s another misconception dealt with.

Well, almost. Actually, fashion comes at the top of the list on 63%, and it’s closely followed by travel (62%) and experiences such as spa treatments or concert tickets (57%). Looking at it that way, tech comes quite low down but still manages to beat beauty. And while ‘only’ 39% want a smartphones, that should still add up to a lot of sales for Apple, Samsung and their smaller rivals this season.

And while Gen Z generally want the gifts they receive to be Instagrammable, 88% also want them to have a personal meaning, while 77% want useful presents.

Being surprised by their parents is definitely not what they want. Some 52% of the younger group said they have a wish list and yes, they really do want what’s on it. You have to go up to the 20-22 year-old group before you find a sizeable majority (70%) feeling happy to receive surprise gifts.

“Some of the hallmarks of Gen Z as a generation are really borne out in this data,” said Sweety High’s co-founder and CEO Frank Simonetti, adding that “this generation is the most connected, day to day and hour to hour.”

He said that doesn’t mean that social media Likes are more important than the recipient liking a gift, but they do count.

But despite this social media obsession, Gen Z is also surprisingly traditional and likes offline interactions. We know that these consumers are very fond of physical stores, and this survey supports that. While 54% like to gift shop online, 77% still like visiting stores to buy presents. And they’re especially fond of malls.

And 75% get gift ideas from people they know rather than social media. The people who influence them most are friends (81%) and family (77%) rather than the celebs they follow on Instagram and other sites (12%).

Other influences between the two extremes include 46% affected by the gift they’re buying having a charitable link and 37% by advertising, but only 23% by a brand’s social media presence.

Know what’s next. Become a WGSN member today to benefit from our daily trend intelligence, retail analytics, consumer insights and bespoke consultancy services.