Gen Z shopping diamonds online

Generation i: How the Diamond Industry Can Connect to Digital-First Consumers

You’ve heard of the Boomers, Gen X, and the Millennials. You’ve probably also heard of Gen Z, the youngest adult group of the moment. You might not have heard of “iGen,” which is another moniker given to Generation Z, the young adults born roughly between 1995 and 2012. The name “iGen,” specifically the “i,” highlights one of the most important influences impacting the lifestyles and characters of this generation – the internet.

iGen is the first generation in history in which the internet featured in their daily lives from the day they were born. For older consumers, the days before the World Wide Web and smartphones may be a distant memory, but it is still a memory. For iGen, there has never been a world without the internet, which is key to understanding their mentality as individuals and as a wider consumer segment.

Here are four ways that iGen expresses itself as the world’s first digital generation and how diamond retailers might want to consider it when building customer relationships.


iGen Lives Online

Not surprisingly, iGen, or Gen Z, comprises the highest proportion of internet shoppers compared to other generations. A study shows that there are over 37 million Gen Z internet shoppers in 2021. But this generation does much more than just shop online – iGen is reported to spend an average of 9 hours a day on screens. Between smartphones, laptops, tablets, and smart TV, iGen is truly immersed in the digital world in the day-to-day lived experience.

online diamond shopping

Social Influence is HUGE

Social media is highly entrenched in the iGen lifestyle in a variety of ways. Ninety-seven percent of Gen Zers say that they use social media to get inspiration for shopping. iGen follows friends, family, and influencers on social media and relies heavily on them for recommendations. But while social media platforms get their fair share of criticism, they can be a force for good too.

Brands use social media to spread their values and promote the causes they support. This is a language that iGen can understand. For example, 79% of iGen say that it is important for companies to operate in a sustainable way. Social media is where this generation goes to connect with other people and brands that share their own values and influence each other in achieving their goals.


iGen Thrives on Interactivity

The iGeneration is sometimes referred to as “digital natives.” Mobile devices, social media, and the virtual realm are their comfort zone. It’s where they grew up and conducted most of their commerce, socialization, and work. Gen Z frequently jumps between devices, with 66% using more than one screen at a time.  

While previous generations consumed media in a passive way, sitting patiently (or not) through TV ads, iGen expects control and choice. They play an active role in their digital experiences, selecting a streaming movie to watch from among thousands, choosing to skip or watch video ads, downloading and uninstalling apps at a whim. Digital devices are an extension of themselves, not separate entities that may or may not interest them at any given moment.

Gen Z diamond shopping

iGen Craves Empowerment

With access to myriad opportunities and information in the palm of their hands, it is only natural that iGen is an empowered generation – socially and environmentally aware, conscious of their own and others’ values and behaviors, wanting to make the world a better place. This generation also has a strong sense of self, with a desire to control outcomes and contribute to advancing important causes they believe in. Sixty-one percent believe they can accomplish their goals, and 55% are optimistic about the future.


Sarine: Connecting iGen and the Diamond Industry

At Sarine, we closely follow the advancement of the iGeneration and their relationship to digital technology and develop digital solutions to support diamond retailers in building relationships with Gen Zers. For example, our Diamond Journey™ digital reports deliver an interactive, verifiable story of a diamond’s unique journey from the mine to the store that Gen Z customers can access via their mobile and share with friends and family on social media. The 3D Origin is a physical replica of the rough diamond from which a polished diamond was sourced. Retailers can now present the 3D model to iGen customers in-store, allowing them to interact with it tangibly, satisfying their desire for deeper diamond information and streamlining their digital/real-world shopping experience. 

As a company, Sarine also works towards the goals of iGen, with a strong focus on social giving among both our global employee base and business partners. Lucara Diamond Corp, which partners with Sarine for its Clara rough diamond trading platform, is working to advance women’s empowerment and mining communities in Africa. Check out this discussion featuring Naseem Lahri, Managing Director of Lucara Diamond Botswana. We are also proud to partner with ALROSA Mining Corp, which executes more than 500 social and corporate responsibility initiatives each year.

Digital Diamond Certificate

Get to Know iGen

The iGeneration is savvy, informed, and empowered. To succeed with this growing consumer segment, diamond retailers must rise to their expectations and deliver the experiences they want. Whether through advancing shared values, providing interactive, exciting diamond reports, or supporting verifiable diamond traceability, Sarine is there, working towards a brighter, digitally-driven future for the diamond industry and its iGen customers.