By  on March 14, 2018

According to beauty and tech innovators, one of the most powerful forces driving fashion and beauty’s pursuit of augmented reality, virtual reality and artificial intelligence can be captured in just four letters: Gen Z.

A SXSW panel of experts — from Benefit Cosmetics LLC, Snap Inc., Modiface and Pixability — gathered Tuesday to discuss the imperative and tactics for reaching today’s youth consumer using technology. Pixability’s Tammy Johnson kicked off the session, titled “Immersive Tech: Gen Z’s Beauty Counter and Mall,” with some attention-grabbing stats: “At 69 million, 12- and 17-year-olds actually have a buying power of $44 billion,” she said. “They’re spending 55 percent of that buying power on cosmetics and clothing.” In the next two years, this generation will account for more than 40 percent of all consumer spending, making them a segment that brands need to understand and connect with, she added.

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