The Lap Of Luxury: Gen Z Is A Whole New Market, Dotdash Meredith Study Finds

Publishers who cater to the luxury market may soon have access to a larger group of high-spending consumers – those in Gen Z, judging by a study presented by Dotdash Meredith at the Cannes Lion Festival. 

The new era in luxury will be defined by authenticity and self-expression, with “expensiveness,” or price, ranking a relatively low 13 in a list of 25 attributes. 

Dotdash Meredith serves luxury shoppers with publications like InStyle, Travel + Leisure, Food & Wine and People. 

Of the consumers polled, 88% have at least one luxury, product, service or experience that they feel is essential to their lives. And 70% feel that luxury can be found in everyday experiences that don’t always have a high price tag.  

Moreover, 90% are considering or actively shopping for luxury. 

But it depends on their age.   



Of Gen Zers surveyed, 99% engage with luxury consideration or action, compared to 70% of boomers. 

Gen Z places a higher priority on personalized, sustainable luxury experiences that align with their values. For instance, 75% say luxury brands should prioritize creation of unique and memorable experiences, versus 66% overall. 

The Gen Z cohort is also more open to AI: 39% say personalization and convenience outweigh data privacy fears, compared to 28% of all respondents. Yet 72% overall say data privacy is more important than convenience and personalization, and 84% of boomers especially feel that way.  

However, 68% of Gen Zers value “targeted content on social media, anticipating my wants/needs,” compared to 38% of all age groups. 

And, 68% appreciate virtual shopping assistants, agents or reps that offer personal recommendation and advice. In contrast, 39% of all groups feel the same way.  

At the same time, 71% of Gen Zers feel the total experience of luxury shopping, including the service and packaging, is as important as the product. And 60% of respondents agree.  

Which products attract Gen Z? These shoppers tend to enter the luxury market through the beauty category – 19% say this was their first experience with a luxury product or service. The food & wine category was next, with 13%. 

These findings were based on the question: "For each of the following categories, please indicate whether you own luxury item(s), or have purchased luxury experience(s), in the past year. (Select one for each category)." The categories were: Travel, Beauty, Style, Food and Wine, Finance/Wealth Management, Auto, Home, and Entertainment/Lifestyle. Anyone who is a lux rejector was excluded. anyone who is a lux rejector.

The study also found that Dotdash Meredith consumers are highly open to luxury: 93% say that they engage with luxury (action or consideration), while 71% of non-Dotdash Meredith consumers do so.

But here’s a warning: 62% of Gen Z feels that many luxury products feel generic and fail to reflect the person’s personality, values and culture, while 45% of consumers overall concur.  

Dotdash Meredith partnered with market research vendor Ipsos to survey 1,501 U.S. consumers between May 15 and May 20, 2024. In addition, it analyzed 5.6 million social posts across platforms like Instagram, X, TikTok, YouTube and Reddit.


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