Gen Z on phone squarespace survey

Squarespace, the all-in-one website building and eCommerce platform, today released a study finding that 60% of Gen Z and 62% of Millennials believe how you present yourself online is more important than how you present yourself in person. Squarespace partnered with The Harris Poll in an online study of over 2,000 U.S. adults to uncover the roles of websites in daily life and how memorable they are, discovering that about one in two Americans (49%) say they can remember the color of a website better than someone’s eye color – and 71% of Millennials agree, vs. 58% of Gen Z’ers.

With so many first impressions – for both individuals and businesses – now happening virtually, the survey found that nearly half (44%) of Gen Z and 39% of Millennials think they make a better impression online than they do in person, compared to 21% of Gen X and 8% of Baby Boomers. What’s more, Gen Z is more likely to remember off the top of their head the last website they visited (43%) than their partner’s birthday (38%) or their social security number (31%).

Taking a look at entrepreneurship in 2021, Squarespace discovered that Gen Z is the most ambitious generation: the vast majority (92%) of Gen Z’ers would start their own business, compared to 86% of Millennials, 74% of Gen X, and 50% of Baby Boomers. And current entrepreneurs, take note: more than half (57%) of Americans believe that a well-designed online store or website is more important for a business to have than a brick-and-mortar location.

“The majority of Gen Z believe that how you present yourself online is more important than how you present yourself in person – and while 92% of Gen Z are typically multitasking with other activities while browsing the web, they’re also more likely to remember the color of a website than someone’s eye color,”

“Americans browse over 3,000 websites a year, and our research shows that the things we see online can make a more lasting impression than things we see in person. This is why it’s so important to create a well-designed presence across all the things you do on the web.” 

Kinjil Mathur, Chief Marketing Officer, Squarespace.

Full Survey Findings

Online Impressions

  • 60% of Gen Z and 62% of Millennials think how you present yourself online is more important than how you present yourself in-person, compared to 38% of Gen X and 29% of Baby Boomers.
  • Nearly half (44%) of Gen Z and 39% of Millennials say they make a better impression online than in person, vs. 21% of Gen X and 8% of Baby Boomers.
  • Approximately 1 in 2 Americans (49%) believe they can remember the color of a website better than someone’s eye color – and 71% of Millennials agree, vs. 58% of Gen Z’ers.
  • Off the top of their head, Gen Z are more likely to remember the last website they visited (43%) than their partner’s birthday (38%) or their own social security number (31%).

How Americans Browse the Web

  • On average, Americans estimate they visit 8.4 websites per day, or over 3,000 per year.
  • 92% of Gen Z multitask with other activities while browsing websites online – they’re also more likely than any other generation to eat food (59%), listen to music (59%), talk on the phone (45%) or dance (28%) while browsing websites.
  • Almost 3 in 5 Americans (59%) say they typically spend time browsing websites online while watching TV. The top place for Gen Z, specifically, to browse websites online is while in bed (65%), followed by while on the toilet (43%).
  • More than 2 in 5 Americans say they spend more time browsing websites than working out (43%) or having sex (42%), in a given week.
  • 66% of Americans agree that travel is the activity that online research is most important for.

Who Americans Look Up Online

  • The top group of people that Americans say they’d be most likely to look up online is “people they went to school with,” (41%), and it’s also the top group who Americans think are looking them up online (33%).
  • At least once a week, 1 in 5 Americans (20%) look up their exes online and 32% look up their current romantic partner. Specifically, over half of Gen Z (51%) and Millennials (55%) look up their current romantic partner online at least once a week.
  • 86% of Gen Z and 79% of Millennials look people up online before meeting them for the first time, compared to 65% of Gen X and 44% of Baby Boomers.

The New Entrepreneur

  • The vast majority (92%) of Gen Z would start their own business, vs. 86% of Millennials, 74% of Gen X, and 50% of Baby Boomers. 
  • When asked what type of business they would start if they were to start their own, Americans’ top response was offering a service (e.g. teaching a class, offering advice, tutoring) over selling a physical product.
  • More than half of Americans (57%) think that a well-designed website or online store is more important for a business to have than a brick-and-mortar location.
  • 62% of Americans (and 76% of Millennials and 64% of Gen Z’ers, specifically) always look up a business’ website (e.g. a restaurant, store, etc.) before shopping, visiting, or eating there (compared to 65% of Gen X and 49% of Baby Boomers).
  • 7 in 10 Americans (70%) agree that when a local business has a well-designed website, they’re more likely to shop there in person.

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