Reaching Gen Z and Millennials: What Brands Need to Know About Creator Guided Shopping

Creator-guided shopping is booming, with no signs of slowing down. With U.S. retail social commerce projected to reach $80 billion by 2025, according to Insider Intelligence, more consumers, especially Gen Z and millennial shoppers, are turning to creators to help with their purchase decisions. In fact, 92% of Gen Z — a group that will make up the largest consumer segment by 2030[1] — rely on creators to inform their purchases across virtually every category.

As this important shopper segment finds value in creator-guided shopping, brands are recognizing the efficiencies creators are able to drive in terms of marketing, leading to more brands scaling creator campaigns as budgets become more scrutinized. 

Let’s take a look at what retailers need to consider when reaching Gen Z and millennial shoppers.

Shopping Creator Recommendations In-Store

With creators helping to close the gap between brands and customers, creator-guided shopping will influence consumers through all aspects of their discovery journey — including in-store. The 2023 State of Creator-Guided Shopping Trends Report from LTK states that 44% of Gen Z and 42% of millennial respondents are going to stores to buy creator-recommended products. And we’ll continue to see a sizable and growing number of consumers shop in-store from creator recommendations.


Gen Z ranks Influencers as the most trusted to help with purchase decisions — beating social media ads and celebrities. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated creator-guided shopping as shoppers spent more time on social media and shopping from their phones. Post-pandemic, consumers are taking that behavior in-store by shopping specific creator posts and searching creators’ recommendations while in-store. 

With creators impacting in-store sales, we’ll start to see more creators playing a role in more non-digital experiences, and marketers will develop full strategies to repurpose creator content across social, print and in-store channels.

Shopping Creators’ Lifestyles

Nearly 80% of Gen Z shops from social media and 76% already purchase from creators today. LTK has found that Gen Z and millennials are turning to influencers for shopping guidance across every category — trusting creators to shop their full lifestyle instead of just one specific category. Shoppers value the creators that authentically share the products they use and love in their lives. Because of this, as brands build campaigns with creators, they should look beyond those that fit within one specific category and connect with those who know and value their products.

The top 10 categories shopped from creator recommendations:

Gen Z

  1. Beauty and Personal Care
  2. Clothes, Shoes and Accessories
  3. Electronics
  4. Entertainment
  5. Cleaning Supplies
  6. Video Games
  7. Gifts
  8. All Natural and Organic Products
  9. Beer, Wine and Spirits
  10. Movies, Music and Books


  1. Beauty and Personal Care
  2. Clothes, Shoes and Accessories
  3. Electronics
  4. Video Games
  5. Cleaning Supplies
  6. All Natural and Organic Products
  7. Baby
  8. Grocery
  9. Beer, Wine and Spirits
  10. Movies, Music and Books

The Impact of Video

With Instagram and TikTok still taking the reins as the top social media platforms for shopping inspiration amongst Gen Z and millennials, short video content is not going anywhere. 2021 and 2022 were the years of short-form video experimentation, seeing a lot of brands dipping their toes into video on social media. LTK found across its creator posts that shoppable videos had the strongest sales figures year over year, driving 3X the sales growth over still images.

With 66% of consumers preferring video content over still images on social media, and 73% of Gen Z watching creator videos, creators and brands will lean in to this trend and offer more bite-sized educational and informational product demonstrations and reviews.

Gen Z and millennials are influential generations who will continue to drive consumer shopping trends. Now more than ever, it’s important for brands to tap into influencer marketing to attract and engage with Gen Z and millennial shoppers. This year, we will see more consumer engagement through in-store creator experiences, user-generated lifestyle content and short-form video. Both of these generations are looking for options through the people they trust, which is why creator-guided shopping is here to stay.

Rodney Mason is Head Of Marketing, Brand Partnerships at LTK. He has over 20 years in retail marketing and research as a founding principal in global ad and marketing strategy agencies servicing top retail brands and products. He also founded a CPG company sold through retail channels and served as CMO and head of strategy in three consumer incentive companies servicing the retail industry.


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