Buying Habits by Generation
By Hayley Lardinais, Account Coordinator
Attributes assigned to each generation are never fact and are always open to interpretation. As with most things, there are always going to be outliers. However, when it comes to consumer behavior, the year someone was born has been shown to determine, or at least play a role in, their buying habits and decisions. For this reason, it is important to pay attention to your customer base and audience: Who is buying your products? And, what is important to them?
According to Salesfloor, the 4 main generations are commonly recognized by the following birth years, and display the following behaviors:
Baby Boomers: 1946 – 1964
- Convenience is very important to Baby Boomers, and they do not tend to enjoy browsing new products unless it is online. Surprisingly, Boomers are not opposed to making regular purchases online either. Most still prefer brick-and-mortar stores and place a lot of emphasis on customer service. They have more disposable income than most other generations and don’t always need to hunt down the best deal or discounts.
Generation X: 1965 – 1980
- Much more research has gone into Boomers and Millennials, leaving Gen X more of a mystery. Gen X is very conservative in their buying and does not fall for flashy advertising tactics. They thoroughly research their purchases, utilizing all available resources, to avoid any buyer’s remorse. Straightforward and personalized messaging may be the most effective tool to reach them, especially through email.
Generation Y (more commonly known as Millennials): 1981 – 1997
- Millennials are most likely to utilize all available channels to make a purchase, be it mobile, digital, or in person. They are likely to browse products across various brands before landing on a decision. Gen Y views shopping/buying as a social activity and often buys in groups. Similarly to Gen X, they are skeptical of overt marketing and prefer authentic interactions.
Generation Z: 1998 – 2010
- With their digital foundation, Gen Z is likely to compare and contrast products in order to make an educated purchase. They are likely to hold off on purchases until they know the price may be reduced or bigger, better products are being released. This generation is very likely to interact with brands on social media platforms and not only appreciate, but contribute towards word-of-mouth advertising.