U.S. Gen Z & millennials: consumer goods and shopping behavior - statistics & facts

The millennial generation, also known as Generation Y, consists of anyone born between 1981 and 1996, and is followed by Generation Z, which includes individuals born 1997 to 2012. Each of these generations constituted just over a fifth of the entire United States in 2020, with millennials accounting for the highest population share that year. While millennials had been the center of companies’ attention for several years, many businesses and retail industry professionals across the globe now have a vested interest in the distinct shopping behavior of "zoomers", i.e., members of Generation Z.

Gen Z: the new kids on the block

Consumers of the Z Generation are some of the most tech-savvy consumers yet, with many shopping online just as often as they do offline. Not only that, but a high percentage of Gen Z consumers have less patience with poorly functioning websites and are inclined to post a negative review after having a bad digital shopping experience, especially since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The crisis also caused many young shoppers to be less loyal to brands than in the past. That being said, in 2021, some of the most highly regarded brands among Gen Z consumers included big names, such as Amazon, Adidas, Netflix, and Nintendo. That year, the generation’s favorite brand by a long shot was Nike.

Generation Y

When it came to the United States’ millennial generation, many of the same brands, such as Nike, Amazon, and Samsung, were also exceedingly popular, however, the top spot went to the tech giant Apple. Compared to Gen Z, millennials typically spend more money, which comes to no surprise, since they are older, more likely to be employed, and typically less reliant on their parents or guardians. For 2021’s holiday shopping season, for example, millennials planned to spend an average of about 1,650 U.S. dollars, while Gen Z consumers intended to spend approximately 500 U.S. dollars less per capita.

In what ways are Y and Z similar?

At times, millennials and zoomers in the United States exhibit distinct behavioral traits, but there are cases in which the generations are similarly minded. For instance, the majority of zoomers and millennials have gotten accustomed to making quick purchases on their smartphone. In fact, nearly two-thirds of young consumers said they had bought items on their phones as a result of social media brands’ posts or influencers’ content, demonstrating the effectiveness of these accessible marketing tactics. When looking for products (e.g., clothing), Gen Z and millennial shoppers in the States are also commonly influenced by many of the same factors, such as social media advertising, positive product reviews, and the opinions of family members.

Interesting statistics

In the following 4 chapters, you will quickly find the 27 most important statistics relating to "U.S. Gen Z & millennials: consumer goods and shopping behavior".


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