Centennials: A Connected World With An Eight Second Attention Span

Centennials, or Generation Z, between 13 and 18 years old and born around the turn of the century, make up nearly a quarter of the population; by 2020 this number will balloon to 40%, says new research from PowerReviews and reported by Andrew Corselli, Associate Managing Editor, DMnews.

Centennials were born with technology pervading their everyday lives and don't remember a time when a connected world wasn't at their fingertips, explaining why the group's average attention span is an estimated eight seconds.

Influencing centennial conversation is a facet marketers must leverage to succeed, says the report. Technology is embedded into their lives, so expectations are high and they often want a two-way dialogue with retailers. Marketers targeting this generation should focus on engagement

This group is resourceful and practical when it comes to spending money, says the report. Nearly three quarters of centennials say they take their time with most purchases by researching price, reading reviews, and reviewing different brands. Also, two thirds say they prefer to save money for the future rather than make impulse purchases.

How Centennials Browse For Products


% of Respondents

Laptop or desktop


Mobile phone


In store




Source: CentennialShopperStudy, December 2015

The research shows that online reviews are more valuable to centennials than saving money or other perks:

  • 32% of centennials rank online reviews as more important than a brand name or free shipping
  • 64% of centennials read at least four reviews before making a purchase.
  • One third of centennials say they would not buy a product if they couldn't first ask questions about it
  • 57% of centennials are likely to spend more on a well-known brand than purchase a lower-priced item from an unknown brand
  • 79% go straight to another retailer if they couldn’t ask a question on the brand’s produce page

The report suggests ways that marketers can capture centennials' interest:

  • Centennials crave quality information over price, so make sure to promote reviews that boast the best qualities of the product as opposed to bragging about low pricing.
  • With nearly all (Centennial) shoppers conducting research online, marketers should tailor their website for research and purchasing purposes. Helpful product information, descriptions, sizing, reviews, etc. are paramount
  • Centennials use desktops and mobile phones as a key part of their shopping journey; ensure your website is mobile-friendly
  • Of the centennials who have written reviews, 89% say they hadn't subsequently been contacted by the brand. A review is a golden opportunity to engage with the customer, concludes the report.


Centennials Most Likely to Leave Reviews

Likely When

% of Respondents

Unhappy with product


Spent “a lot of” time or money considering


Source: CentennialShopperStudy, December 2015

For more information from DMnews, please visit here.

3 comments about "Centennials: A Connected World With An Eight Second Attention Span".
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  1. John Grono from GAP Research, December 15, 2015 at 7:43 a.m.

    Centennials, or Generation Z, between 13 and 18 years old and born around the turn of the century, make up nearly a quarter of the population.

    Is that correct that this six-year age group make up nearly a quarter of the population?

  2. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics, December 15, 2015 at 8:30 a.m.

    John, actually the 13-18s amount to  about 9% of the population. Of course, you can't blame these folks for puffing up the stats as this makes their commentary seem more important to those who aren't familiar with the country's demographics. The real figures are readily available, of course----but who checks the facts these days---except guys like you and I.

  3. John Luma from iLumaNation, December 19, 2015 at 10:58 a.m.

    Yeah, that stat sticks out for anyone with a pulse like Pinocchio's nose. And the same goes for the followup stat that Z's will grow to 40% of population by 2020.

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