Gen Z Interacts More with Brands on Instagram


  • The Piper Jaffray’s survey that takes place twice per year reports that 90% of teens use Instagram a minimum of once per month. Of all the surveyed teens, 70% preferred to talk with brands on the platform with Snapchat coming a close second. However, the latter is the preferred social channel having a preference of 41%, 6% more than Instagram. Only 6% of teens preferred Facebook, a decline of 16%.

  • Amazon is their top shopping site with 50%, followed by Nike (5%). Nike continues to be a top footwear and clothing brand for teens, but Lululemon and Vans are growing fast. Ulta has taken the place of Sephora as teens favorite the site as a beauty destination.

  • Teens spend 37% of their time online every day on Netflix, compared to 32% for YouTube. The survey found that the two sites dropped a point from the last poll. Apple has a significant share in the audience market, with 83%, a number expected to grow to 86% in a few months.


Generation Z makes about $830 billion U.S sales in retail every year. It is crucial for brands to reach this group. Other research shows that teens like talking with brands and are in a lot of ways like millennials. The report by Piper Jaffray explains what is not working with the demographic and provides information that marketers can use to formulate strategies for engaging them.
Many brands are turning to Instagram to reach consumers instream and to help them shop. The platform expanded its shopping tool and revealed Shoppable Insta stories in 2018. Just last month, the app launched a checkout, in-app with major brands including Adidas and Nike that are very popular with Gen Z.

The Stories format counts 500 million users and has played a vital role in the growth of the platform. In the last quarter of 2018, the parent company announced that two million advertisers started participation on Stories across Messenger, Instagram, and Facebook.

Gen Z loves Instagram. The report revealed that 80% of teens will learn about beauty from influences. 90% of the females in the survey said that they prefer to shop for their products in stores. It is an interesting fact that Ulta would replace Sephora as a beauty destination since Sephora has a robust social strategy. The trend caused Ulta to see more grains.

Gen Z also loves fast foods. Chick-Fil-A was found to be the most popular restaurant followed by Chipotle and Starbucks. Male teens spend 23% on food. Clothing saw the most expenditure from female teens – 25%. A lot of the findings by Piper Jaffray line up with previous research that highlights the generation as profoundly influenced by social media. Different research points to Gen Z’s love for phones and how that is not keeping them from physical stores.

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