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INFLUENCE OF THE DIGITAL ENVIRONMENT ON DECORATIVE COSMETICS TRENDS

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Purpose: This paper aims to compare Generation X, Generation Y, and Generation Z, and show their similarities and differences between them as consumers in the decorative cosmetics industry. The digital environment has created a new trend in the industry, and this paper aims to show the differences in acceptance of those trends between the mentioned generations. Methodology: An online survey was carried out on a sample of 445 female respondents from the Republic of Croatia. Primary research was conducted in March 2020 using the Computer Assisted Web Interviewing (CAWI) method. IBM SPSS Statistics 25 software has been used for statistical analysis and related tests, including Chi-square and Kruskal-Wallis test. Results: The respondents in this research are divided into three generations (Gen X, Gen Y, Gen Z), and this paper shows the differences between mentioned generations, what factors and what characteristics decorative cosmetics consumers find important in product selection, and what source of information they find relevant. Conclusion: Differences in consumers' behavior between generations are significant, each generation has its own pattern of behavior that requires a custom marketing approach, and the digital environment presents a specific challenge.
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Nick Zuschke, N. (2020). The impact of task complexity and task motivation on in-store
marketing effectiveness: An eye tracking analysis. Journal of Business Research, 116,
337-350.
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Antun Biloš
J. J. Strossmayer University of Osijek,
Faculty of Economics in Osijek, Croatia
E-mail: antun.bilos@efos.hr
Bruno Budimir
J. J. Strossmayer University of Osijek,
Faculty of Economics in Osijek, Croatia
E-mail: bruno.budimir@efos.hr

Orbico d.o.o.
E-mail: valentina.zrilic@orbico.com
JEL: M31, L66, D91, D12
INFLUENCE OF THE DIGITAL ENVIRONMENT ON DECORATIVE
COSMETICS TRENDS
Abstract
Purpose: This paper aims to compare Generation X, Generation Y, and Generation Z, and show
their similarities and differences between them as consumers in the decorative cosmetics
industry. The digital environment has created a new trend in the industry, and this paper aims
to show the differences in acceptance of those trends between the mentioned generations.
Methodology: An online survey was carried out on a sample of 445 female respondents from
the Republic of Croatia. Primary research was conducted in March 2020 using the Computer
Assisted Web Interviewing (CAWI) method. IBM SPSS Statistics 25 software has been used
for statistical analysis and related tests, including Chi-square and Kruskal-Wallis test.
Results: The respondents in this research are divided into three generations (Gen X, Gen Y,
Gen Z), and this paper shows the differences between mentioned generations, what factors and
what characteristics decorative cosmetics consumers find important in product selection, and
what source of information they find relevant.
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Conclusion: Differences in consumers’ behavior between generations are significant, each
generation has its own pattern of behavior that requires a custom marketing approach, and the
digital environment presents a specific challenge.
Keywords: Decorative cosmetics, Digital environment, Generation X, Generation Y,
Generation Z, Influencers
1. Introduction
Face and body care date back to ancient Egypt, and cosmetics gradually developed until the end
of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. At the beginning of the 20th century, the era of
modern decorative cosmetics has begun. During the early years of 20th century, make-up
became fashionable in the United States and Europe, mostly promoted by stars performing in
ballet and theater. However, the most important and influential development in the popularity
of decorative cosmetics began with the movie industry in Hollywood. One of the most famous
brands in the decorative cosmetics industry today is called Max Factor. Max Factor or
Maksymilian Faktorowicz started to sell make-up to Hollywood movie stars. Max Factor also
invented the word 'makeup' and introduced Society Makeup to the public, enabling women to
look like their favorite TV actresses. In 1928 Max Factor unveiled the very first lip-gloss as
well. After him, essential people in the decorative cosmetics industry were Eugene Schueller,
founder of L'Oreal, who invented modern synthetic hair dye and sunscreen. T.J. Williams and
his company Maybelline are important because of mascara manufacturing (Jain & Chaudhri;
2009: 164; Cosmetics Info, 2019). Eugene Schueller had a good understanding of the market
and its needs. He not only understood the needs of the market but also created them, through
his innovations but also his marketing activities. In the late 1920s, he extended his
manufacturing production to body care, and this cosmetics branch of his company expanded
over time, today being one of the market leaders. They published the magazine La Coiffure et
les modes, and it was placed at the service of his innovations in this branch. Later that magazine
became 'Women's magazine' that could be bought from vendors other than hair salons. Success
was immediate, in December 1933 they sold more than 90.000 copies, compared to 8.950 in
April 1932. The main goal of that magazine was the narrative of beauty imposed on women to
pay attention to their appearance, and as a result, they would buy products that were
recommended in the magazine (Geers, 2014). That was the beginning of the modern use of
decorative cosmetics and marketing activities in that industry. Today the situation is
significantly different, digital technologies changed the way people behave, how they access
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Conclusion: Differences in consumers’ behavior between generations are significant, each
generation has its own pattern of behavior that requires a custom marketing approach, and the
digital environment presents a specific challenge.
Keywords: Decorative cosmetics, Digital environment, Generation X, Generation Y,
Generation Z, Influencers
1. Introduction
Face and body care date back to ancient Egypt, and cosmetics gradually developed until the end
of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. At the beginning of the 20th century, the era of
modern decorative cosmetics has begun. During the early years of 20th century, make-up
became fashionable in the United States and Europe, mostly promoted by stars performing in
ballet and theater. However, the most important and influential development in the popularity
of decorative cosmetics began with the movie industry in Hollywood. One of the most famous
brands in the decorative cosmetics industry today is called Max Factor. Max Factor or
Maksymilian Faktorowicz started to sell make-up to Hollywood movie stars. Max Factor also
invented the word 'makeup' and introduced Society Makeup to the public, enabling women to
look like their favorite TV actresses. In 1928 Max Factor unveiled the very first lip-gloss as
well. After him, essential people in the decorative cosmetics industry were Eugene Schueller,
founder of L'Oreal, who invented modern synthetic hair dye and sunscreen. T.J. Williams and
his company Maybelline are important because of mascara manufacturing (Jain & Chaudhri;
2009: 164; Cosmetics Info, 2019). Eugene Schueller had a good understanding of the market
and its needs. He not only understood the needs of the market but also created them, through
his innovations but also his marketing activities. In the late 1920s, he extended his
manufacturing production to body care, and this cosmetics branch of his company expanded
over time, today being one of the market leaders. They published the magazine La Coiffure et
les modes, and it was placed at the service of his innovations in this branch. Later that magazine
became 'Women's magazine' that could be bought from vendors other than hair salons. Success
was immediate, in December 1933 they sold more than 90.000 copies, compared to 8.950 in
April 1932. The main goal of that magazine was the narrative of beauty imposed on women to
pay attention to their appearance, and as a result, they would buy products that were
recommended in the magazine (Geers, 2014). That was the beginning of the modern use of
decorative cosmetics and marketing activities in that industry. Today the situation is
significantly different, digital technologies changed the way people behave, how they access
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information and how they purchase things. Moreover, a significant number of small brands
have appeared on the market of decorative cosmetics in recent years, which are rapidly
becoming popular. Sch brands are not created by multinational corporations but celebrities like
Rihanna, Kylie Jenner, blogger Emily Weiss or famous people from the industry such as make-
up artist Charlotte Tilbury or Jeffree Star who is a make-up YouTube influencer. These stars
and their brands have built their popularity through social media platforms and digital
communication channels. Following the short historical overview of the decorative cosmetics
industry in the introduction, this paper aims to explore the generational concept and differences
between Generation X, Generation Y, and Generation Z as well as their specific purchasing
preferences within the theoretical framework section. The results of the primary research are
presented afterwards, focusing on the pattern of consumers’ behavior in the decorative
cosmetics industry for each of explored generation. Finally, the most important parts of the
paper will be summarized in conclusion section with most important limitations and
recommendations for future research.
2. Theoretical framework
Just as decorative cosmetics are a kind of expression of their character, so are the brands that
consumers wear and use to represent the personality of that person. There are many brands on
the global market today, and for every consumer there will be a brand which they can identify
with. In the decorative cosmetics industry, indie brands stand out as a type of brand with which
younger consumers can identify more. Indie brand is a generic term that could describe any
independently owned company and represent entrepreneurs who are progressive, creative, and
non-traditional in their communication with audience and marketing activities (Robinson,
2016). Indie brands meet specific needs and quite often are driven by passion. Indie brands are
able to empathize with their audience where the implementation of feedback is crucial.
Customer satisfaction is the center of indie companies because they are the reason for the
emergence of these companies where consumers make products for consumers. Indie
companies tend to create authentic stories which should resonate with their target audience
(Hansen, 2018). Still, the trend that has been noticed in the last two years is the sale of indie
brands to the multinational corporations after gaining world fame (Charlotte Tilbury brand was
sold to Puig group, Kylie Cosmetics to Coty, Fenty Beauty to LVMH, Urban Decay to L'Oreal,
Too Faced to Estee Lauder Companies) where they still retain their creative rights as creative
directors and presidents. The reason for such an approach is probably the limited production
capacity concerning the high demand in the global market (Butler, 2020). Russel et al. (2018)
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showed how make-up products have a differential effect on perceived age, and they compared
women in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s, and it was the trigger to research marketing background
on that topic. Baek (2019) showed that baby boomer generation is changing the decorative
cosmetics market because the purchase of cosmetics has increased to 100% in women in their
60s and the same author researched their behavior, why they wear make-up, what products they
use and how much they are spending on beauty products. Dalziel (2019) investigated female
students’ attitude towards beauty products. The aforementioned studies were a guide to
investigating the differences between the generations on the decorative cosmetics market. It
should be noted that there is a disagreement among various authors about the birth year
boundaries of a specific generation. Pew Research Center suggested that Gen X starts from
1965, Gen Y from 1981, and Gen Z from 1997 (Dimock, 2019) while Stein (2013) argued that
Gen Y is born between 1980 and 2000. In contrast, Lyons (2016) suggested that Gen X involved
persons born between 1965 and 1979, yet Howe (2014) defined Gen X as the ones born between
1961 and 1981. The biggest disagreement is about setting boundaries for Gen Z, because
Salesforce defined that Gen Z is born between 1997 and 2015, Deloitte claims it is from 1995
to 2012, McKinsey defined Gen Z as generation born between 1995 and 2010, and Pew
Research Center defined them as generation born after 1996 (Parker & Igielnik, 2020; Francis
& Hoefel, 2018; Gomez et al., 2018; Young, 2021). All the years cited mentioned in this paper
for the definition of generations are by Williams and Page (2011) due to a uniform approach.
Generation X is also known as Baby Bust, Slackers, Why Me Generation or the Latchkey
Generation, were born between 1965 and 1977, and today they are between 44 and 56 years
old. They are children of the Baby Boomers generation known as workaholic generation, which
is why Generation X are known as Latchkey generation, which means that they were coming
to an empty home after school because their hard-working parents are away at work. Members
of Generation X are less traditional than their parents, and they are more open-minded to
multiculturalism and globalism. Even though this generation is highly educated, they are
pessimistic and skeptical about almost everything, and they do not like teamwork as much as
their parents. They are more non-team players and very often self-employed professionals
(Williams & Page, 2011:7; Berkup, 2014:4). They educate themselves to achieve better careers
and get higher incomes, not serve higher collective goals. Unlike Baby Boomers, Generation X
does not live to work, but the opposite, they work to live, they rely solely on themselves instead
of the team and the collective (Kindrick Patterson, 2007:19). Generation X is the bridge from
old school to new school, they get digital and like mobile and social, but they are less self-
centered about their tech devices and like to combine offline and online channels (Quad,
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showed how make-up products have a differential effect on perceived age, and they compared
women in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s, and it was the trigger to research marketing background
on that topic. Baek (2019) showed that baby boomer generation is changing the decorative
cosmetics market because the purchase of cosmetics has increased to 100% in women in their
60s and the same author researched their behavior, why they wear make-up, what products they
use and how much they are spending on beauty products. Dalziel (2019) investigated female
students’ attitude towards beauty products. The aforementioned studies were a guide to
investigating the differences between the generations on the decorative cosmetics market. It
should be noted that there is a disagreement among various authors about the birth year
boundaries of a specific generation. Pew Research Center suggested that Gen X starts from
1965, Gen Y from 1981, and Gen Z from 1997 (Dimock, 2019) while Stein (2013) argued that
Gen Y is born between 1980 and 2000. In contrast, Lyons (2016) suggested that Gen X involved
persons born between 1965 and 1979, yet Howe (2014) defined Gen X as the ones born between
1961 and 1981. The biggest disagreement is about setting boundaries for Gen Z, because
Salesforce defined that Gen Z is born between 1997 and 2015, Deloitte claims it is from 1995
to 2012, McKinsey defined Gen Z as generation born between 1995 and 2010, and Pew
Research Center defined them as generation born after 1996 (Parker & Igielnik, 2020; Francis
& Hoefel, 2018; Gomez et al., 2018; Young, 2021). All the years cited mentioned in this paper
for the definition of generations are by Williams and Page (2011) due to a uniform approach.
Generation X is also known as Baby Bust, Slackers, Why Me Generation or the Latchkey
Generation, were born between 1965 and 1977, and today they are between 44 and 56 years
old. They are children of the Baby Boomers generation known as workaholic generation, which
is why Generation X are known as Latchkey generation, which means that they were coming
to an empty home after school because their hard-working parents are away at work. Members
of Generation X are less traditional than their parents, and they are more open-minded to
multiculturalism and globalism. Even though this generation is highly educated, they are
pessimistic and skeptical about almost everything, and they do not like teamwork as much as
their parents. They are more non-team players and very often self-employed professionals
(Williams & Page, 2011:7; Berkup, 2014:4). They educate themselves to achieve better careers
and get higher incomes, not serve higher collective goals. Unlike Baby Boomers, Generation X
does not live to work, but the opposite, they work to live, they rely solely on themselves instead
of the team and the collective (Kindrick Patterson, 2007:19). Generation X is the bridge from
old school to new school, they get digital and like mobile and social, but they are less self-
centered about their tech devices and like to combine offline and online channels (Quad,
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2017:11). Most of the Gen X members today are already parents and they spend a most of their
money on products and services to set up households, on their children, and on savings for
college for their kids (Williams & Page, 2011:7; Quad:2017:7). Gen X are economical, they
love coupons but do not purchase a product until they have researched it, and they quit if they
have any doubt about a product (Salesfloor, 2020). According to eMarketer, 86% of Xers said
they would try a new brand if offered a coupon or discount for that product, and 64% of Xers
are purchasing store brands, 34% would try a new brand because items they want are not
available, and 33% to save money (Dolliver, 2021)
Generation Y, also known as Gen Y, Millennials, Echo Boomers, Why Generation, Net
Generation, Gen Wired, We Generation, DotNet, Ne(X)t Generation, Nexters, First Globals,
iPod Generation) were born between 1977 and 1994 (Williams & Page, 2011:7). Today
Millennials are between 27 and 44 years old. In 2020, approximately 23% of the global
population can be considered as Millennials (MSCI, 2020:5). In the United States, Millennials
overtake Baby Boomers as America's largest generation (Fry, 2020). The last Statistical Report
of Census of Population in Croatia reported there are approximately 1 million of Millennial
population, that is almost one-quarter of the overall population in the country. Millennials in
each country have different characteristics, but due to globalization, the Internet, social media,
and the expanding of Western culture and speed of change in the late 20th century, Millennials
worldwide are more similar to each other than the older generation within their nations. Gen Y
members have higher rates of narcissism, materialism, and technology addiction than their

generations, Millennials are better educated than their predecessors, especially women, because
43% of Millennial women had obtained at least a bachelor's degree, and 36% of men have at
least a bachelor's degree. Even though they have better education, they are delaying or foregoing
marriage and live longer with their parents before moving to their own households (Bialik &
Fry, 2019). According to Euromonitor International (2015:12-13), in clothing and make-up
markets, Millennials are largely focused on value-for-money products such as fast fashion
brands. Members of Generation Y find personalization and interactivity essential in the beauty
care and the food industry. This demographic segment seems to like try-on technologies, skin
analysis, and mirror apps for smartphones, also they like curated but interactive sales
environments, whether retail or online.
Generation Z also known as Children of Internet, Baby Bloomers, 9/11 Generation, iGen,
Digital Natives, .com Generation or Generation XD was born between 1995 and 2010. Today
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they are between 11 and 26 years old. The most defining characteristic of Gen Z are reliance,
freedom, individualism, addiction to technology and speed, value individual expression and
avoid labels, mobilize them themselves for a variety of causes and make decisions and relate to
institutions in a highly analytical and pragmatic way. Some vital factors that defined this
generation are the fact that their parents marry later and they raise them when they are more
mature, this generation faced global terrorism, recession, economic uncertainty and they have
been equipped with the technological devices since they were babies with access to the Internet.
(Francis & Hoefel, 2018:2; Williams & Page, 2011:10; Berkup, 2014:223) Members of
Generation Z are known for their character of being creative, multi-taskers, and instantly
indulgent. However, at the same time this generation feels comfortable not having only one
about themselves, but their search for authenticity generates greater freedom of expression and
greater openness to understanding different kinds of people (Dimitriou & AbouElgheit,
2019:314.; Francis & Hoefel, 2018:2). When it comes to the beauty industry and decorative
cosmetics, Gen Z is living in an age where brands are telling them it’s ok to be you,
imperfection is beautiful and it is driven by the rise of influencer culture where Gen Z
influencers tell Gen Z consumers how to look like the best version of themselves. For Gen Z
members, it is important that their favorite brand provides products that are not tested on
animals. They want straight-talking brands and messages with which they can identify (Hope,
2017). According to a report by Mashable (Lane, 2014), Gen Z members do not just talk about
changing the world, they want actually to do it, 60% of them want their jobs to impact the
world, and 76% are concerned about humanity’s impact on the planet. Ahmad and Omar (2017)
argued that these young consumers like to do things that make them unique, such as buying
natural and eco-products just to be perceived differently from their friends. Gen Z members like
more influencers than traditional celebrities, but even within these groups, they like to trust
micro-influencers more than macro or mega influencers because Gen Z members want people
or influencers who have similar interests and put their real, unedited, and authentic content
(Wolf, 2020). According to a report by Google (O’Neil-Hart & Blumenstein, 2016) 70% of
teenage (Gen Z) YouTube subscribers say they relate to YouTubers more than traditional
celebrities, and 60% of them stated that they would follow advice on what to buy from their
favorite YouTuber over their favorite TV personality.
Wang and Lee (2021), in their study, showed that social media influencers have a significant
impact on consumers’ new product acceptance intentions and it is even better when sponsorship
is not displayed, except for general public influencers, in which case it is better when their
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they are between 11 and 26 years old. The most defining characteristic of Gen Z are reliance,
freedom, individualism, addiction to technology and speed, value individual expression and
avoid labels, mobilize them themselves for a variety of causes and make decisions and relate to
institutions in a highly analytical and pragmatic way. Some vital factors that defined this
generation are the fact that their parents marry later and they raise them when they are more
mature, this generation faced global terrorism, recession, economic uncertainty and they have
been equipped with the technological devices since they were babies with access to the Internet.
(Francis & Hoefel, 2018:2; Williams & Page, 2011:10; Berkup, 2014:223) Members of
Generation Z are known for their character of being creative, multi-taskers, and instantly
indulgent. However, at the same time this generation feels comfortable not having only one
about themselves, but their search for authenticity generates greater freedom of expression and
greater openness to understanding different kinds of people (Dimitriou & AbouElgheit,
2019:314.; Francis & Hoefel, 2018:2). When it comes to the beauty industry and decorative
cosmetics, Gen Z is living in an age where brands are telling them it’s ok to be you,
imperfection is beautiful and it is driven by the rise of influencer culture where Gen Z
influencers tell Gen Z consumers how to look like the best version of themselves. For Gen Z
members, it is important that their favorite brand provides products that are not tested on
animals. They want straight-talking brands and messages with which they can identify (Hope,
2017). According to a report by Mashable (Lane, 2014), Gen Z members do not just talk about
changing the world, they want actually to do it, 60% of them want their jobs to impact the
world, and 76% are concerned about humanity’s impact on the planet. Ahmad and Omar (2017)
argued that these young consumers like to do things that make them unique, such as buying
natural and eco-products just to be perceived differently from their friends. Gen Z members like
more influencers than traditional celebrities, but even within these groups, they like to trust
micro-influencers more than macro or mega influencers because Gen Z members want people
or influencers who have similar interests and put their real, unedited, and authentic content
(Wolf, 2020). According to a report by Google (O’Neil-Hart & Blumenstein, 2016) 70% of
teenage (Gen Z) YouTube subscribers say they relate to YouTubers more than traditional
celebrities, and 60% of them stated that they would follow advice on what to buy from their
favorite YouTuber over their favorite TV personality.
Wang and Lee (2021), in their study, showed that social media influencers have a significant
impact on consumers’ new product acceptance intentions and it is even better when sponsorship
is not displayed, except for general public influencers, in which case it is better when their
27th CROMAR CONGRESS| LET THE MASKS FALL NEW CONSUMER IN BUSINESS RESEARCH
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sponsorship is displayed. Yüksel (2016) showed that make-up and beauty YouTube channels
have content that was found to have a significant effect on perceived credibility, usefulness,
and attitude toward the purchase and the purchase intention. Gupta et al. (2020), in their study,
stated that Instagram influencer physical attractiveness significantly affects consumer purchase
behavior. The same authors (2020) stated that a growing number of consumers are exploring
blogs and reviews before purchasing, while 83% of Instagram users discover new products and
services on that platform. It a channel to for inspiration, and depending on the level of user
income, affordability of products is decided on. Swadia (2018), argued that there is relationship
between advertisement and consumer awareness in the decorative cosmetics industry.
However, there is no a relationship between the advertisement and perception because
advertisement cannot create perceptions in the mind of the customers. The conclusion is that
decorative cosmetics products are sensitive products where consumers are looking for a product
that is suitable for their skin. Swadia (2018) continued to conclude that cosmetic companies
should use content to create awareness for consumers because that first contact with the product
is essential. It is especially important for young girls during their adolescence age when the
development of attractiveness becomes a priority. Teenagers’ (today - Gen Z members)
struggles are magnified by unattainable ideals presented by the media, including the social
media platforms. Their young skin is very sensitive, and they need to have credible sources of
information for decorative cosmetics, such as dermatologists (Marcoux, 2000). The results of
Dalziel’s (2019) research showed that celebrities have a significant positive influence on female
students’ attitude towards beauty products, but the influence of salespeople also proved
significant.
3. Primary research
According to Statista (2017), 67% of women and 0% of men in the United States use decorative
cosmetics daily or several times a week. Consequently, it can be inferred that decorative
cosmetics are intended primarily for women. Therefore, the primary research in this paper is
focused exclusively on women. The aim of this research is to explore differences in consumer
behavior in the decorative cosmetics industry among women of different generations. The
research instrument was created for the purpose of this research and was largely based on input
from industry professionals. The questionnaire consisted of 58 items related to 28 questions,
where 23 questions were focused on the research topic, and 5 related to demographic variables.
Mainly ordinal and nominal scales were used within closed-ended questions. The data
collection was conducted in March 2020 using the Computer Assisted Web Interviewing
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(CAWI) method. The time required to fill in the questionnaire was approximately 10 minutes
and the survey was in the Croatian language. Non-probability quota sampling was used in order
to obtain an adequate number of female respondents per Generation X, Generation Y, and
Generation Z. The online survey was shared through social media platforms and email contacts
who then shared the survey to their contacts that fit the respondent profile. The final sample
consisted of N=445 female internets users from Croatia. For analysis of the collected data, IBM
SPSS Statistics 25 and MS Excel were used. For testing differences between generations, the
following statistical tests and methods were used: descriptive statistics, cross-tabulation for
multiple response questions, Kruskal-Wallis test, and Chi-square test.
The goal of the paper was to reach a matching number of female respondents who are members
of Generation X, Generation Y, and Generation Z to see similarities and differences between
them. Out of a total of 445 female respondents that participated in the study, 144 respondents
are members of Generation X (32,4%), 99 respondents are members of Generation Y (22,2%),
and 202 respondents are members of the youngest generation in this comparison, Generation Z
(45,4%). Although the sample is not evenly distributed across generations, the number of
respondents per generation is large enough to enable the comparison between the subsegments.
Considering that none of the respondents completed a Ph.D. study, or just primary school, it
was reduced to a division of three categories. More than half of Generation X members (54,2)
stated that they have a master's degree, 9,2% have a bachelor's degree, and 36,6% of Gen X
have completed high school. Millennials have a similar level of education as the prior
generation, with more than half of them who stated that they have a master's degree (53,5%), a
bachelor's degree was a little bit more popular for Millennials (17,2%) than for Gen X, and
29,3% of Millennials in this research stated that they had completed high school. It is a
completely different story with Generation Z, a lot of them in this research are not even old
enough to have master's degree, so just 21% have master's degree, 18,5% have bachelor's
degree, and the remaining 60,5% so far completed just a high school, but some of them just
started their academic education.
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(CAWI) method. The time required to fill in the questionnaire was approximately 10 minutes
and the survey was in the Croatian language. Non-probability quota sampling was used in order
to obtain an adequate number of female respondents per Generation X, Generation Y, and
Generation Z. The online survey was shared through social media platforms and email contacts
who then shared the survey to their contacts that fit the respondent profile. The final sample
consisted of N=445 female internets users from Croatia. For analysis of the collected data, IBM
SPSS Statistics 25 and MS Excel were used. For testing differences between generations, the
following statistical tests and methods were used: descriptive statistics, cross-tabulation for
multiple response questions, Kruskal-Wallis test, and Chi-square test.
The goal of the paper was to reach a matching number of female respondents who are members
of Generation X, Generation Y, and Generation Z to see similarities and differences between
them. Out of a total of 445 female respondents that participated in the study, 144 respondents
are members of Generation X (32,4%), 99 respondents are members of Generation Y (22,2%),
and 202 respondents are members of the youngest generation in this comparison, Generation Z
(45,4%). Although the sample is not evenly distributed across generations, the number of
respondents per generation is large enough to enable the comparison between the subsegments.
Considering that none of the respondents completed a Ph.D. study, or just primary school, it
was reduced to a division of three categories. More than half of Generation X members (54,2)
stated that they have a master's degree, 9,2% have a bachelor's degree, and 36,6% of Gen X
have completed high school. Millennials have a similar level of education as the prior
generation, with more than half of them who stated that they have a master's degree (53,5%), a
bachelor's degree was a little bit more popular for Millennials (17,2%) than for Gen X, and
29,3% of Millennials in this research stated that they had completed high school. It is a
completely different story with Generation Z, a lot of them in this research are not even old
enough to have master's degree, so just 21% have master's degree, 18,5% have bachelor's
degree, and the remaining 60,5% so far completed just a high school, but some of them just
started their academic education.
27th CROMAR CONGRESS| LET THE MASKS FALL NEW CONSUMER IN BUSINESS RESEARCH

Table 1. Level of education
Gen X
(%)
Gen Y
(%)
Gen Z
(%)
Overall
sample
(%)
High School
36,6
29,3
60,5
45,6
Bachelor's degree
9,2
17,2
18,5
15,1
Master's degree
54,2
53,5
21,0
39,2
Source: Created by the authors based on the research
Employment of respondents who represent Generation X and Generation Z is very high, 97,9%
for the oldest generation in this comparison and 90,7% for Millennials. Considering that the
oldest representatives of Generation Z can only be 27 years old today, it could be expected that
employment within that generation will be lower, or they will work as students. Respondents
in this research have a very low rate of unemployment, 3,8% of the total number of respondents,
even among the youngest generation in this comparison, the unemployment rate is low (5,1%).
Most Generation Z respondents work as student employees (58,2%), and the remaining 36,7%
of Generation Z respondents are employed.
Table 2. Employment status
Gen X
(%)
Gen Y
(%)
Gen Z
(%)
Overall
sample
(%)
Unemployed
1,4
6,2
5,1
3,8
Employed
97,9
90,7
36,7
78,2
Student employee
0,7
3,1
58,2
18,0
Source: Created by the authors based on the research
In order to understand the differences between generations, it is essential to compare their
purchasing and financial power. According to the Croatian Bureau of Statistics (2021), the
average monthly paid off net earnings per capita in paid employment in legal entities in the
Republic of Croatia is 6.979 HRK. Table 3 shows how Generation X members have the highest
financial power with 16,2% of them having monthly incomes over 13.000 HRK, 26,8% of them
between 8.000 and 13.000 HRK, almost half of them (49,3%) have between 4.000 and 8.000
HRK, and just 7,7% have less than 4.000 HRK per month.
29
27th CROMAR CONGRESS| LET THE MASKS FALL NEW CONSUMER IN BUSINESS RESEARCH
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Table 3. Income level
Gen X
(%)
Gen Y
(%)
(%)
Overall sample
(%)
Less than 4.000 HRK
7,7
13,3
37,4
4.001 8.000 HRK
49,3
61,2
40,8
8.001 13.000 HRK
26,8
18,4
14,3
More than 13.001 HRK
16,2
7,1
7,5
Source: Created by the authors based on the research
The assumption is that there is a strong link between income and the amount spent on make-
up. As table 3 shows, members of Generation X have the highest income level, while the lowest
income level is reported for Generation Z, which is quite logical considering their age. Table 4
shows how income and spending on decorative cosmetics are related. Kruskal-Wallis test
2=8.936, df=2, p=,011) shows that there is a statistically significant difference between
generations and their monthly spending on decorative cosmetics. Gen X members spend the
most on make-up, while Gen Z spends the least. The post-hoc test shows that the difference
between Gen X and Gen Z is statistically significant (adj. p=.015). More than ¾ of respondents
of Gen Y and Gen Z stated that they spend less than 300 HRK per month, to be more precise,
78,6% of both mentioned generations. In the highest level of monthly spending, 7,1% of the
Gen Y respondents stated that they spend 600 to 1000 HRK per month on cosmetics, and 5,1%
of the Gen Z respondents stated the same thing. However, interestingly just 4,2% of respondents
who are at least 44 years old spend that much money on decorative cosmetics although they
have a higher level of income.
Table 4. Monthly spending on decorative cosmetics
Gen X
(%)
Gen Y
(%)
Gen Z
(%)
Overall
sample
(%)
Less than 300 HRK
63,9
78,6
78,6
73,7
301 600 HRK
31,9
14,3
16,3
21,0
601 1.000 HRK
4,2
7,1
5,1
5,3
Source: Created by the authors based on the research
30
27th CROMAR CONGRESS| LET THE MASKS FALL NEW CONSUMER IN BUSINESS RESEARCH

Table 3. Income level
Gen X
(%)
Gen Y
(%)
Gen Z
(%)
Overall sample
(%)
Less than 4.000 HRK 7,7 13,3 75,6 37,4
4.001 8.000 HRK 49,3 61,2 22,1 40,8
8.001 13.000 HRK 26,8 18,4 1,7 14,3
More than 13.001 HRK 16,2 7,1 0,6 7,5
Source: Created by the authors based on the research
The assumption is that there is a strong link between income and the amount spent on make-
up. As table 3 shows, members of Generation X have the highest income level, while the lowest
income level is reported for Generation Z, which is quite logical considering their age. Table 4
shows how income and spending on decorative cosmetics are related. Kruskal-Wallis test
2=8.936, df=2, p=,011) shows that there is a statistically significant difference between
generations and their monthly spending on decorative cosmetics. Gen X members spend the
most on make-up, while Gen Z spends the least. The post-hoc test shows that the difference
between Gen X and Gen Z is statistically significant (adj. p=.015). More than ¾ of respondents
of Gen Y and Gen Z stated that they spend less than 300 HRK per month, to be more precise,
78,6% of both mentioned generations. In the highest level of monthly spending, 7,1% of the
Gen Y respondents stated that they spend 600 to 1000 HRK per month on cosmetics, and 5,1%
of the Gen Z respondents stated the same thing. However, interestingly just 4,2% of respondents
who are at least 44 years old spend that much money on decorative cosmetics although they
have a higher level of income.
Table 4. Monthly spending on decorative cosmetics
Gen X
(%)
Gen Y
(%)
Gen Z
(%)
Overall
sample
(%)
Less than 300 HRK 63,9 78,6 78,6 73,7
301 600 HRK 31,9 14,3 16,3 21,0
601 1.000 HRK 4,2 7,1 5,1 5,3
Source: Created by the authors based on the research
27th CROMAR CONGRESS| LET THE MASKS FALL NEW CONSUMER IN BUSINESS RESEARCH

According to the study made by research company Dscout, the average smartphone user touches
his or her smartphone device 2,617 times every day, but that is average. Category of heavy
smartphone users, which include top 10%, touch their smartphone device more than 5,400 times
every day (Winnick, 2016). Following this level of smartphone useage, it is understandable why
44,2% of our total number of respondents stated that the use Internet all day long, and that
Internet usage include smartphones, computers, tablets, smart TVs, and all other Internet-
connected devices. As expected, the younger the respondents are, they spend more time on the
Internet. Gen Z members stated that 57,8% of them use the Internet all day long, 31,2% of them
stated that they use the Internet approximately 3 hours per day and just 11,1% of them stated
that they use Internet approximately 1 hour per day. Quite opposite is situation with Generation
X where 53,1% of the respondents stated that they use Internet 1 hour per day, 21% of them
stated that their average Internet usage is 3 hours per day and 25,9% stated that they use Internet
all day long. Millennials have their average Internet use between the two mentioned generations
with 26,3% of them use Internet approximately 1 hour per day, 30,3% of them use it 3 hours
per day and remaining 43,4% stated that they use Internet all day long. Kruskal-Wallis test
2=61.688, df=2, p<,001) shows that there is a statistically significant difference between
generations and their daily Internet use. Furthermore, post-hoc test shows there are statistically
significant differences between all the generations (GenX-GenY adj. p<.001; GenX-GenZ adj.
p<.001; GenY-GenZ adj. p=.014).
Figure 1 shows what decorative cosmetics products respondents purchase the most, and
generational differences might not be as expected. Considering that the members of the oldest
generation in this study can be at least 43 years old, and the oldest members of Gen Z can be
26 years old, it was expected that their purchasing habits of decorative cosmetics are not the
same. The difference between them in the use of lipstick or gloss is 1,7 percentage points, in
the use of eyeshadow palettes is 0,2 percentage points, in the use of contouring palettes is 2,2
percentage points, in the use of blush, highlighter or bronzer is 4,2 percentage points, and in the
use of powder is 5,1 percentage points, which is the biggest difference between them in favor
of Generation Y. Millennials seem to like to use lipstick or gloss and blush, highlighter or
bronzer more than other two generations, especially in comparison with Gen Z, because Chi-
square test (X2=7.927, df=2,p<0.05) shows a statistically significant difference between Gen Y
and Gen Z in using those products. On the other hand, Millennials do not prefer powder and
eyeshadow palettes as much as the other two generations. Mascara is a favorite product of
31
27th CROMAR CONGRESS| LET THE MASKS FALL NEW CONSUMER IN BUSINESS RESEARCH

decorative cosmetics for Gen X and Gen Y, but the youngest generation is this study, Gen Z,
prefers powder in comparison with mascara by 2,5 percentage points.
Figure 1. Most commonly used cosmetic products
Source: Created by the authors based on the research
Table 5 shows the characteristics of the product in general that influence their buying decision.
All three generations included in this study stated that quality is the most important product
characteristic that influence purchasing behaviou: 79,2% of Gen X, 81,8% of Gen Y, and 82,2%
of Gen Z, with no significant difference between them. The second most important
characteristic for all three generations is price, but with is a statistically significant difference.
Namely, 59,4% of Gen Z respondents reported price as an important factor which is
significantly higher that other two generations, tested with the Chi-square test (X2=16.917,
df=2, p<0.01). Still, it was expected considering that they are the youngest and have the lowest
income. Another statistically significant relationship between generations and these factors is
related to design of products. Chi-square test (X2=7.139, df=2, p<0.05) shows that Gen Z
members care more about the design, compared to Gen X. There is also a statistically significant
difference related to discounts, deals, and sale. Chi-square test (X2=11.359, df=2, p<0.01)
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32
27th CROMAR CONGRESS| LET THE MASKS FALL NEW CONSUMER IN BUSINESS RESEARCH

decorative cosmetics for Gen X and Gen Y, but the youngest generation is this study, Gen Z,
prefers powder in comparison with mascara by 2,5 percentage points.
Figure 1. Most commonly used cosmetic products
Source: Created by the authors based on the research
Table 5 shows the characteristics of the product in general that influence their buying decision.
All three generations included in this study stated that quality is the most important product
characteristic that influence purchasing behaviou: 79,2% of Gen X, 81,8% of Gen Y, and 82,2%
of Gen Z, with no significant difference between them. The second most important
characteristic for all three generations is price, but with is a statistically significant difference.
Namely, 59,4% of Gen Z respondents reported price as an important factor which is
significantly higher that other two generations, tested with the Chi-square test (X2=16.917,
df=2, p<0.01). Still, it was expected considering that they are the youngest and have the lowest
income. Another statistically significant relationship between generations and these factors is
related to design of products. Chi-square test (X2=7.139, df=2, p<0.05) shows that Gen Z
members care more about the design, compared to Gen X. There is also a statistically significant
difference related to discounts, deals, and sale. Chi-square test (X2=11.359, df=2, p<0.01)
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  
27th CROMAR CONGRESS| LET THE MASKS FALL NEW CONSUMER IN BUSINESS RESEARCH

shows that the youngest generation, Gen Z, finds discounts and sales more important than Gen
X members which is also expected because they are the youngest and have the lowest income.
Table 5. The most important product characteristic that influence the buying decision
Gen X
(%)
Gen Y
(%)
Gen Z
(%)
Price
38,9
41,4
59,4
Quality
79,2
81,8
82,2
Design
3,5
10,1
11,4
Country of origin
5,6
3,0
5,0
Discounts and deals
11,1
20,2
25,7
Brand
26,4
33,3
32,2
Source: Created by the authors based on the research
Figure 2 shows the most influential factors that individuals recognize as relevant in their
intention to purchase a product. For all three generations in this study, the recommendations
from friends are the most relevant factor. With more than 70% (70,4%), Gen Z members have
the highest confidence in friend's recommendation, 61,6% of Gen Y respondents, and 52,4% of
Gen X respondents stated that friend's recommendation is an important factor for them.
However, Chi-square test (X2=10.597, df=2, p<0.01) shows that there is a statistically
significant difference between Gen X and Gen Z members, members of younger generation
find friend’s recommendation more important. On the other hand, Generation X and Generation
Y suggest that advice from the salesman is the second most important factor that influences the
buying decision, but Gen Z does not. There is a statistically significant difference between Gen
X (36,4%) and Gen Z (20,6%), which is tested with Chi-square test (X2=11.538, df=2, p<0.01).
For 20,6% of the Gen Z, advice from the salesman is the fourth most picked factor, 30,7% of
them thinks that benefits and discounts are more important. On the other hand, new generations
like new trends, so 42,2% of Gen Z members believe social media ads, and there is a statistically
significant difference between them and Gen X there, Chi-square test showed (X2=21.892,
df=2, p<0.01) that there is a significant relationship between trust in social media platforms and
generations. The least important factors are TV commercials, bonus gifts with purchases, and
ads in magazines. Interestingly, TV commercial is an important factor for 4,2% of Gen X, 7,0%
of Gen Z, and 10,1% of Gen Y members, with no significant difference. In contrast, Chi-square
test (X2=10.370, df=2, p<0.01) showed a difference related to importance of magazine ads: Gen
33
27th CROMAR CONGRESS| LET THE MASKS FALL NEW CONSUMER IN BUSINESS RESEARCH

X (11,9%) find magazine ads more important than Gen Z (3,0%). It can be observed that
younger generation rather trust friends and social media ads, while older generation perceive
salesman advice and magazine ads more positively.
Figure 2. Important factors that influence the buying decision
Furthermore, Table 6 shows the factors that respondents find essential when choosing a brand.
It is expected that the members of the youngest generation in this comparison care the most
about how famous is the brand (50,2%), and the results of the Chi-square test (X2=8.501, df=2,
p<0.05) shows that there is a statistically significant difference between Gen Y and Gen X
members where Gen Z members famous brand find significantly more important. On the other
hand, members of Gen X would care more than younger generations about the tradition of the
brand. The most common answer for Millennials was a good experience with other products of
a brand (38,4%), but at the same time Millennials state more often that they like to try something
new (34,3%). Interestingly, Gen Y members care about previous experiences the most, and the
second most common answer is about trying something new and getting some new experiences.
It was not expected that the oldest generation in this comparison would have the highest
percentage on the answer about trying something new, but it is a little bit of surprise that less
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  
34
27th CROMAR CONGRESS| LET THE MASKS FALL NEW CONSUMER IN BUSINESS RESEARCH

X (11,9%) find magazine ads more important than Gen Z (3,0%). It can be observed that
younger generation rather trust friends and social media ads, while older generation perceive
salesman advice and magazine ads more positively.
Figure 2. Important factors that influence the buying decision
Furthermore, Table 6 shows the factors that respondents find essential when choosing a brand.
It is expected that the members of the youngest generation in this comparison care the most
about how famous is the brand (50,2%), and the results of the Chi-square test (X2=8.501, df=2,
p<0.05) shows that there is a statistically significant difference between Gen Y and Gen X
members where Gen Z members famous brand find significantly more important. On the other
hand, members of Gen X would care more than younger generations about the tradition of the
brand. The most common answer for Millennials was a good experience with other products of
a brand (38,4%), but at the same time Millennials state more often that they like to try something
new (34,3%). Interestingly, Gen Y members care about previous experiences the most, and the
second most common answer is about trying something new and getting some new experiences.
It was not expected that the oldest generation in this comparison would have the highest
percentage on the answer about trying something new, but it is a little bit of surprise that less
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




  
27th CROMAR CONGRESS| LET THE MASKS FALL NEW CONSUMER IN BUSINESS RESEARCH
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than a third of Gen Z respondents (31,8%) stated that would like to try something new because
younger generations usually exhibit a tendency for new experiences. Even though only a small
percentage of respondents (regardless of the generation) feels that the higher price means better
quality, Chi-square test (X2=7.854, df=2, p<0.05) showed a statistically significant difference
between Gen Z (8,0%) and Gen X (1,4%) where younger generation agree with that statement
significantly more.
Table 6. The most important decorative cosmetic factors about a brand that influence the buying
decision
Gen X
(%)
Gen Y
(%)
Gen Z
(%)
Famous brand
39,6
33,3
50,2
Brand with tradition
36,1
29,3
24,4
I like to try something new
22,9
34,3
31,8
Higher prices means better quality
1,4
4,0
8,0
Good experience with other
products of a brand
33,3
38,4
36,8
Source: Created by the authors for the research
Previous tables and figures focused on product characteristics, communication attributes and
brand elements that have an influence on consumer behavior, while Table 7 shows the most
important characteristics of decorative cosmetic products that have an influence on purchasing
decision. The most important characteristic is the simple and easy way of using the product,
and that is the most common answer for Gen X (81,3%), for Gen Y (74,4%), and Gen Z
(68,7%). All three generation stated that simplicity is the most important characteristic in
decorative cosmetics. However, there is a statistically significant difference between
Generation X and Generation Z because the Chi-square test (X2=7.340, df=2, p<0.01) revealed
that Gen X members find the simplicity in using decorative cosmetics significantly more
important than Gen Z members. The second most important thing for all three generations is
that decorative cosmetic products are affordable to them (45,8% of Gen Z, 34,3% of Gen Y,
and 26,4% of Gen X). Similar to previous findings, Chi-square test (X2=13.601, df=2, p<0.01)
showed that Gen Z members are significantly more price-sensitive compared to Gen X, whch
is in line with initial expectations. Furthermore, 29,4% of Gen Z find important that decorative
cosmetic products are not tested on animals, compared to 16,7% of Gen X and 19,2% of Gen
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Y. Chi-square test (X2=8.487, df=2, p<0.05) showed that it is a statistically significant
difference in favor of Gen Z who care significantly more for animals than Gen X members.
Table 7. The most important characteristics of decorative cosmetic products that influence the
buying decision
Gen X
(%)
Gen Y
(%)
Gen Z
(%)
Simple and easy to use
81,3
74,4
68,7
Didn't test on animals
16,7
19,2
29,4
Innovative and different
11,8
15,2
16,4
Affordable
26,4
34,3
45,8
Nobody has it
0,0
3,0
2,5
Trendy
4,9
11,1
12,4
Source: Created by the authors for the research
The most common source of decorative cosmetics information for respondents in this study are
digital channels. Nevertheless, some generations prefer digital channels more than others. Chi-
square test (X2=46.055, df=4, p<0.01) suggested that Gen Z members prefer digital channels
significantly more than other two generations. However, at the same time, they do not prefer
TV and magazine ads as much as Gen X, or flyers of drugstores or perfumeries comparted to
both Gen X and Gen Y.
Table 8. The most common source of decorative cosmetics information
Gen X
(%)
Gen Y
(%)
Gen Z
(%)
Perfumery / Drugstore flyers
31,4
28,6
12,1
TV ads and magazines
20,7
12,2
6,1
Digital channels
47,9
59,2
81,8
Source: Created by the authors for the research
Furthermore, influencers are game-changers in the decorative cosmetics industry, and the issue
of influencers in the marketing of decorative cosmetics is fundamental. Considering that
influencers are a relatively new trend, it can be excepted that younger generations will accept
that new trends better and faster than older generations. Table 9 shows the difference between
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27th CROMAR CONGRESS| LET THE MASKS FALL NEW CONSUMER IN BUSINESS RESEARCH
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Y. Chi-square test (X2=8.487, df=2, p<0.05) showed that it is a statistically significant
difference in favor of Gen Z who care significantly more for animals than Gen X members.
Table 7. The most important characteristics of decorative cosmetic products that influence the
buying decision
Gen X
(%)
Gen Y
(%)
Gen Z
(%)
Simple and easy to use 81,3 74,4 68,7
Didn't test on animals 16,7 19,2 29,4
Innovative and different 11,8 15,2 16,4
Affordable 26,4 34,3 45,8
Nobody has it 0,0 3,0 2,5
Trendy 4,9 11,1 12,4
Source: Created by the authors for the research
The most common source of decorative cosmetics information for respondents in this study are
digital channels. Nevertheless, some generations prefer digital channels more than others. Chi-
square test (X2=46.055, df=4, p<0.01) suggested that Gen Z members prefer digital channels
significantly more than other two generations. However, at the same time, they do not prefer
TV and magazine ads as much as Gen X, or flyers of drugstores or perfumeries comparted to
both Gen X and Gen Y.
Table 8. The most common source of decorative cosmetics information
Gen X
(%)
Gen Y
(%)
Gen Z
(%)
Perfumery / Drugstore flyers 31,4 28,6 12,1
TV ads and magazines 20,7 12,2 6,1
Digital channels 47,9 59,2 81,8
Source: Created by the authors for the research
Furthermore, influencers are game-changers in the decorative cosmetics industry, and the issue
of influencers in the marketing of decorative cosmetics is fundamental. Considering that
influencers are a relatively new trend, it can be excepted that younger generations will accept
that new trends better and faster than older generations. Table 9 shows the difference between
27th CROMAR CONGRESS| LET THE MASKS FALL NEW CONSUMER IN BUSINESS RESEARCH
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those generations and how trendy they are in this area of a digital environment. Results of the
Chi-square test (X2=90.144, df=2, p<0.01) show that there is a statistically significant
difference between generations. Generation Z members (63,1%) are followers of social media
influencers in the most considerable percentage, significantly more than Gen Y members
(29,3%) and Gen X members (13,9%). However, there is also a significant difference between
Millennials and Gen X members.
Table 9. Followers of social media influencers
Gen X
(%)
Gen Y
(%)
Gen Z
(%)
No
86,1
70,7
36,9
Yes
13,9
29,3
63,1
Source: Created by the authors for the research
Following the topic of influencers, it is important to know how many of them follow the trends
created by influencers or at least how many of them are aware of the influence that influencers
have on them. Just 10,1% of Gen X members stated that they follow the trends created by social
media influencers, 27,1% of Gen Y members, and 46,9% of Gen Z members. There is no big
difference between following the influencers and following trends created by them within Gen
X and Gen Z members, but there is 16,2 percentage points within Gen Z. Still, once again there
is a statistically significant difference between those generations on this issue. Results of the
Chi-square test (X2=90.144, df=2, p<0.01) show that Gen Z members follow trends created by
social media influencers significantly more than other two generations, and Gen Y members
significantly more than Gen X members.
Table 10. Followers of trends created by social media influencers
Gen X
(%)
Gen Y
(%)
Gen Z
(%)
No
89,9
72,9
53,1
Yes
10,1
27,1
46,9
Source: Created by the authors for the research
Table 11 shows the impact that influencers have on respondents’ shopping habits. In the
previous table, it can be seen that those who follow influencers do not necessarily follow trends
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created by social media influencers, at least by respondent perception. However, now it can be
seen that even those who follow the trends do not necessarily perceive that these trends have an
impact on their shopping habits. Once again, the biggest difference in perception of influencers
is within Gen Z where 63,1% of them confirmed that they follow influencers, but only 33,2%
of them stated that influencers have an impact on their shopping habits. Similar to the previous
two questions about influencers, results of the Chi-square test (X2=30.060, df=2, p<0.01) show
that there is once again a statistically significant difference between generations. The shopping
habits of Gen Z members are significantly more affected by social media influencers than
members of the other two generations. However, other generations are also statistically different
from each other, and just 7,9% of Gen X members think that influencers have some impact on
their shopping habits compared to 21,9% of Millennials who think so.
Table 11. Impact of influencers on shopping habits
Gen X
(%)
Gen Y
(%)
Gen Z
(%)
No
92,1
78,1
66,8
Yes
7,9
21,9
33,2
Source: Created by the authors for the research
According to Biloš et al. (2021), respondents tend to suggest that they follow social media
influencers, but they are much more reserved about suggesting that influencers have an impact
on their shopping habits. However, when the question is modified to ask if influencers have an
impact on shopping habits of their friends and family, the data suggests significantly higher
scores. However, influencer marketing is changing the industry and creating a whole new sector
in the beauty industry, but they have better results with Gen Z than older generations, especially
Gen X members who are not following this trend at a larger scale.
4. Conclusion
As a conclusion to the comparison between Generation X, Generation Y, and Generation Z, it
can be observed that each generation has its own pattern of behavior. Technological progress
in the last 50 years or so is happening extremely fast, probably the fastest in human history. It
was expected that in such an environment, each new generation is significantly different from
the previous one. In this paper, the differences between observed generations in the decorative
cosmetics industry are explored, as well as the important factors in product selection, source of
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
created by social media influencers, at least by respondent perception. However, now it can be
seen that even those who follow the trends do not necessarily perceive that these trends have an
impact on their shopping habits. Once again, the biggest difference in perception of influencers
is within Gen Z where 63,1% of them confirmed that they follow influencers, but only 33,2%
of them stated that influencers have an impact on their shopping habits. Similar to the previous
two questions about influencers, results of the Chi-square test (X2=30.060, df=2, p<0.01) show
that there is once again a statistically significant difference between generations. The shopping
habits of Gen Z members are significantly more affected by social media influencers than
members of the other two generations. However, other generations are also statistically different
from each other, and just 7,9% of Gen X members think that influencers have some impact on
their shopping habits compared to 21,9% of Millennials who think so.
Table 11. Impact of influencers on shopping habits
Gen X
(%)
Gen Y
(%)
Gen Z
(%)
No 92,1 78,1 66,8
Yes 7,9 21,9 33,2
Source: Created by the authors for the research
According to Biloš et al. (2021), respondents tend to suggest that they follow social media
influencers, but they are much more reserved about suggesting that influencers have an impact
on their shopping habits. However, when the question is modified to ask if influencers have an
impact on shopping habits of their friends and family, the data suggests significantly higher
scores. However, influencer marketing is changing the industry and creating a whole new sector
in the beauty industry, but they have better results with Gen Z than older generations, especially
Gen X members who are not following this trend at a larger scale.
4. Conclusion
As a conclusion to the comparison between Generation X, Generation Y, and Generation Z, it
can be observed that each generation has its own pattern of behavior. Technological progress
in the last 50 years or so is happening extremely fast, probably the fastest in human history. It
was expected that in such an environment, each new generation is significantly different from
the previous one. In this paper, the differences between observed generations in the decorative
cosmetics industry are explored, as well as the important factors in product selection, source of
27th CROMAR CONGRESS| LET THE MASKS FALL NEW CONSUMER IN BUSINESS RESEARCH

information for those products, and their involvement in modern trends with social media
influencers who are game-changers of this industry. The paper provides arguments for
statistically significant differences between generations, and especially the differences between
Gen X and Gen Z. Many generation-related presumptions based on literature review have been
well-illustrated in the collected data.
Members of Gen Z tend to have lower income, seek information online, and are quite price-
sensitive. They also state to care that products are not tested on animals, like to try something
new or trendy, and like famous brands. On the other hand, Gen X members like to ask the
salesperson for advice, read magazines and love drugstore flyers, most of them do not follow
social media influencers and love brands with tradition. In contrast, Millennials are somewhat
in-between these generations as they have some similarities with Gen X and the others with
Gen Z. The obtained results show that differences between generations are significant, and each
generation requires a different marketing approach. The digital environment continuously
provides new opportunities for communication with the target audience, and marketers need to
be up to date with modern communication capabilities but also have a custom approach for
those specific preferences, especially regarding the digital platforms.
There are several important research limitations related to this paper that should be taken into
consideration in the process of drawing conclusions. The most important limitation is related to
the sample distribution and sampling technique. Namely, due to non-probability sampling
technique, the generalization of findings is very limited. Another important limitation is related
to the used item scale type which affected the use of possible statistical tests and, consequently,
the direction of the provided analysis. The other limitation is that sample is county specific
which also may affect the generalizability of findings. In addition, the paper focuses on 3
generation segments while Baby-boomers are not included. Future research efforts of this topic
may additionally include Baby-boomers as a specific subsegment and also should include a
more adequate sampling distribution regarding respondent age, place of residence, and
preferably other socio-demographic characteristics. The used sample recruitment techniques
pose some risks regarding the collected data quality and utilizing other sampling options should
be explored. Furthermore, self-reporting survey items should be reconsidered due to potential
respondent subjectivity or bias. In addition, researchers may focus on a more diversified number
of brands and products, expanding the target audience and/or exploring the influence of recent
pandemic on specific generations.
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40
27th CROMAR CONGRESS| LET THE MASKS FALL NEW CONSUMER IN BUSINESS RESEARCH

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Berkup, S.B. (2014). Working With Generations X And Y In Generation Z Period:
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