Generation Z will account for 40% of all U.S. consumers next year, according to Fast Company, so it's crucial for companies to understand their shopping habits. According to a recent holiday survey by PwC, the key to winning over Gen Z might be innovative shopping methods like shoppable media, in-store smartphone payments, in-home voice assistants, and smartphone apps.

Chart showing percentage of Gen Z shoppers vs. other consumers using innovative shopping solutions.

Source: PwC. Chart by author.

Over half of Gen Z respondents gravitated toward shoppable media posts, which include shoppable posts on Pinterest and Instagram, shoppable videos on YouTube, and interactive ads that let consumers directly purchase products. This suggests that traditional ads, which only link to a retailer's website or app, could fall out of favor.

This trend explains why Facebook is transforming Instagram into an e-commerce platform with shoppable posts and in-app payments, and why it started letting merchants sell products via Facebook Live and Messenger in select markets. Pinterest is also turning its pinboards into e-commerce marketplaces with shoppable pins.

These all represent baby steps for a nascent market, but the rise of shoppable media, in-home assistants, and shopping apps indicates that Gen Z desires more innovation and less friction in their digital shopping experiences.