In Their “Deinfluencing” Era: Gen Zs Becoming More Skeptical of Influencers and Sustainability Messaging, New Report Finds

Research from Rival Tech and Reach3 Leveraged Conversational Research to Uncover How Socio-Economic Forces Like Inflation are Impacting Gen Z Shopping Attitudes and Behaviors in 2024

Vancouver, BC, May 29, 2024 - Rival Technologies and Reach3 Insights, the world leaders in conversational research and insight communities, today released a new report revealing Gen Z's attitudes on social media, influencer marketing, online shopping, sustainability, and brand loyalty.

Based on a mobile-first, conversational survey of 750 Gen Zs in the US and Canada, the research study found that social media’s role in purchase discovery is increasing, but it is only one step in a long and complex buying journey. Among Gen Z consumers who shop online, only 18.4% complete the purchase directly through social channels. In contrast, 88.2% buy via online marketplaces (Amazon, Etsy, etc.) and 74.6% through brand websites.

When asked which social media platforms they use to discover new brands, Gen Zs single out Instagram (70.3%), TikTok (34.3%), and YouTube (33.1%) as top channels.

The research also suggests that hype for influencer marketing may be starting to backfire. Nearly 50% of Gen Zs are “not very likely” or “not likely at all” to buy something recommended by influencers. Many Gen Zs who participated in the study described paid influencer partnerships as “very insincere” or “annoying.”

“Influencer marketing is at risk of facing a serious reckoning,” says Paula Catoira, Chief Marketing Officer at Rival Group, parent company of Rival Technologies and Reach3 Insights. “To ensure ROI from influencer partnerships, brand marketers need to understand their Gen Z customers and align their marketing strategy with the need of this audience.”

Gen Z attitudes on sustainability also seem to be shifting. The report found that 42.9% of Gen Zs prefer sustainable products when available, but it’s not the only consideration. Budget and price are big factors in buying decisions. This helps explain why fast fashion, for example, continues to grow despite its impact on the environment—a phenomenon that was parodied in the recent season finale of “Saturday Night Live.”

“Our research highlights how the attitudes and behaviors of Gen Zs can shift significantly as they go through different life stages and as socio-economic factors evolve,” said Andrew Reid, CEO and Founder of Rival Technologies. “To get accurate and nuanced insights on Gen Zs and win their loyalty, brands need to engage with these young consumers on an ongoing basis and do it in a way that’s aligned with their expectations and behaviors.”

Findings from the 2024 Gen Z Marketing & Engagement Report is based on a conversational survey conducted on the Rival Technologies platform in April 2024. The research study captured quant, qual and video feedback, using a mobile-first approach that encouraged candid participation from Gen Zs. The Angus Reid Group provided sample for the study.

Since their inception in 2017, the conversational research approach that Rival Tech and Reach3 have pioneered has proven to be an effective way of engaging with modern consumers like Gen Zs. Today, companies like Warner Bros. Discovery, REVOLT TV, John Deere, Dell Technologies, and Coca-Cola use Rival’s technology to get ongoing insights that drive better business outcomes.

About Rival Tech and Reach3:

Rival Technologies and Reach3 Insights are the pioneers in conversational research and the leading authority on insight communities. Rival’s mobile-first, conversational platform helps transform conventional surveys into personalized research experiences that emulate the way people communicate today. Reach3 is an award-winning full-service consulting firm that uses immersive, in-the-moment research designs and dynamic digital storytelling to deliver deep experiential insights. Amplified by AI, Rival’s and Reach3’s conversational research approach delivers higher response rates, deeper engagement, and faster time-to-insights. To learn why brands like Coca-Cola, Dell Technologies, Kimberly-Clark, and Warner Bros. have made the switch to conversational, please visit or



Interviews with Andrew Reid, CEO and Founder of Rival Technologies, and Paula Catoira, CMO at Rival Group.

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Kelvin Claveria