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COVID-19 - From a Gen Z Perspective


COVID-19 has had a huge impact on every generation, specifically Generation Z. With this, a new era of shopping, school, and dining arise with new regulations and concerns. During these unsettling times, we decided to test the thinking of our Gen Z’eder Network to see their thoughts and feelings on these abrupt lifestyle changes.

In a survey conducted by our network, our members shared that 83% will be spending less on their back-to-school items this year. While the other 17% revealed that they will be spending more than usual on school supplies. Gen Z are known to be one of the most fiscally responsible and budget savvy generations, as noted in the World Economic Forum. Many feel as though saving money empowers them and sets them up for a future of financial success.

When Gen Z’eders were asked about their school preferences, surprisingly enough, 81% reported that they prefer in-person learning compared to 19% preferring online class. Even though we are digital natives, we still favour having live classes at school due to the social interaction with friends and teachers. Since school systems have gone through plenty of adjustments, we polled our network around their attitude towards the back-to-school season. Our research showed that 55% of students reported feeling more anxious than usual, while 45% revealed that they are not as stressed about the upcoming 2020 school year. After being out of the school building for 6 months, it’ll be an interesting dynamic for students adjusting to the new normal.

One of the most popular social activities during COVID-19 has been patios due to the fact they are outside and a safer alternative. Gen Z reported that 64% have visited a patio before, while the other 36% have not quite yet. On the other hand, we found that our Gen Z’eders are not as comfortable eating indoors at restaurants. These results displayed that only 34% have been dining in at restaurants and 66% have avoided that setting.

With our spending power being over $15.4 billion, Gen Z are crucial customers. Malls were once seen as a great place for Gen Z to hang out, but now with COVID, things are starting to look a little bit different. With this, our Gen Z’eders shared that they still feel comfortable going to malls to shop, but don’t feel as safe using the mall as a hang out spot. We discovered that 62% of Generation Z have shopped at a mall since reopening, while the remaining 38% still have not. In regard to hanging out at the mall, 48% would still feel comfortable versus the 52% that would not.

Public transit has always been Gen Z’s easiest, affordable, and most accessible transportation method. Due to the fact that some of our generation don’t even have their drivers’ licenses yet, TTC was service we’d use on the regular. Now with the pandemic, along with the possible health risks from riding public transit and paid car services like Uber or Lyft have changed. We found that only 26% have utilized public transit during COVID and only 22% have taken a ride in a Lyft or an Uber.

Overall, from our conducted insights, we have uncovered the massive impact of COVID-19 on Generation Z’s lifestyles. Whether it be through education, socializing, or shopping, our point of view has shifted, and will remain for the next while.

Looking for the latest stats or to gain a pulse on Gen Z? We offer the ability to poll our Canada-wide network, contact us today. Be sure to follow us @ThinkGenZ for more updates!

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