Three Quarters of Gen Z Shoppers Prioritise Ethics Over Price despite Cost of Living Challenges


  • 75 percent of Gen Z shoppers said they are influenced by whether products and brands align with their values when it comes to purchasing decisions
  • Three in five Gen Z consumers were more likely to buy products that made sustainability claims – in comparison to less than half of the general population
  • 54 percent of Gen Z is happy to see automation used if it provides a faster retail service


LONDON, UK – 31 October, 2022 – A new report by UK consultancy firm Alchemmy found three in four (75%) Gen Z consumers make purchases based on their values. This compares to only 67 percent of the general population.


The report Future of Retail: Is Generation Z leading the way? explores consumer retail behaviour of all generations. It found three in five (58%) Gen Zers are more likely to buy products with sustainability claims, compared with just 45 percent of all consumers. 


The study gives further evidence of how the retail industry will have to adjust in the future as Gen Z increases its spending power and influence on the market. 


The value of values


Alchemmy’s research also found that while the cost of living crisis and rising inflation have had a huge impact on consumer decision making, Gen Z is not willing to sacrifice ethical values for a good deal. 82 percent of Gen Z describe price as a very important factor, however this is a full ten percent lower than the general population (92%). 


Maintaining values when making purchases is having an impact on the Gen Z generation. The report highlighted that sustainability is more important to Gen Z than deals, offers or rewards when compared to older generations. Over half (58%) of Gen Z consumers said they would pay more for products with sustainable credentials. 


Alchemmy’s Director of Retail and Consumer Lucy Gibbs says: “With consumer confidence at an all-time low and an unprecedented cost-of-living crisis looming, retailers now need to listen harder and think bigger at a time when business-as-usual is already challenging enough. Gen Z has lived entirely as digital natives in turbulent times and is uniquely placed to provide the inspiration that lights the way.

“They are focussed on value but their values still come first. They seek community experiences but demand deep personalisation and infinite choice. They will embrace advances in intelligent automation if it makes life easier but doesn’t come at an ethical cost. Making sense of all of this is essential for retailers to truly understand customers and win the hearts and minds to stay ahead of the competition.”


Implications for the future of retail

As the first true digital natives, the report found that Gen Z is the generation most likely to purchase on social media (23% vs 13% across all generations) and aren’t afraid to shop through a range of channels. 

Half of Gen Zers are happy to see automation used if it provides a faster retail service (54%) and improved product and offers recommendations (49%). This is compared with only 37 percent across all generations. 


Alchemmy will be hosting a panel event ‘Gen Z and the Future of Retail’ on 2nd November 2022 to explore the themes covered. Find out more at: 


– ENDS –

Notes to editors: 

*A nationally representative survey of consumers in the UK, conducted by Censuswide between from 3rd – 7th October 2022.


About Alchemmy 

Alchemmy is an award-winning management consultancy helping its clients with their growth ambitions and turning strategy into sustainable and lasting change. 

With clients in Retail and Consumer; Transport; and the Public Sector, Alchemmy combines Digital, Change, Operational Excellence and Growth capabilities to help clients enter new markets; improve their operations; keep the country safe and intelligently automate their businesses.

Alchemmy specialises in using a combination of human-centred methods and technology platforms to generate significant and speedy impact for its clients.






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Written by

Sam Smitherman

Published on

24st October 2022


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