Generational Shopping Habits

There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all shopper experience, even when it comes to generational shopping habits. Customer expectations are influenced by a wide range of factors including income and who they follow on social media.

Many stereotypes associated with each generation are cliches. However, age-related purchasing patterns provide valuable insights for online retailers. 


Gen Z Shoppers, Born 1997 – 2012

Gen Z is the first digitally-native generation. Online shopping is second nature and spending power is strong. 

Gen Z Shopping Stats and Values
How to Optimize the Shopper Experience for Gen Z
  • Highlight best-selling products and new arrivals in merchandising to keep up with trends.
  • Increase loyalty with personalization and relevant recommendations.
  • Focus on sustainable shopping practices and show support for social causes. 
  • Ensure your website is fast, easy to use, and optimized for mobile.
  • Invest in social media and invest in partnerships with niche content creators.

Millennial Shoppers, Born 1981 – 1996

The oldest Millennials are in their late 30s and early 40s. They are no longer the youngest shoppers. Millennials are in a new life stage and their priorities have shifted. 

Millennial Shopping Stats and Values
How to Optimize the Shopping Experience for Millennials
  • Appeal to Millennials with merchandising that highlights savings.
  • Provide filter and sorting options for easy product comparison.
  • Feature product reviews and user-generated content (UGC).
  • Focus on personalization and loyalty programs.
  • Leverage recommendations to improve product discovery.

Gen X Shoppers, Born 1965 – 1980

Known as “the forgotten generation”, Gen X shoppers feel overlooked by online retailers. Even though Gen X is hard to win over, they’re more loyal to their favorite brands. 

Gen X Shopping Stats and Values
  • 54% of Gen X shoppers are frustrated that brands ignore them.
  • 67% of Gen X shoppers buy products they like over and over again.
  • 55% say purchasing from a known and trusted brand is important. 
  • 50% of Gen X shoppers are loyal to their favorite brands.
How to Optimize the Shopping Experience for Gen X
  • Build a relationship through personalized offers and messaging.
  • Make product recommendations based on past orders.
  • Build trust in your store through product descriptions, policies, and customer service.
  • Reward loyalty with exclusive offers and discounts.

Baby Boomers, Born in 1946 – 1964

Many retailers mistakenly believe that Baby Boomers don’t embrace ecommerce. Make small changes to the shopping experience and it’s easy to boost online sales with this group. 

Baby Boomer Shopping Stats and Values
How to Optimize the Shopping Experience for Baby Boomers
  • Deliver accessible shopping experiences for customers of all ages and abilities.
  • Make products easy to find – on the main menu and site search.
  • Prioritize customer service and offer several ways to contact them.  
  • Show products available for in-store pickup.
  • Provide relevant product recommendations.

Customize Shopper Experience With Demographics

It doesn’t matter if your average customer is 18 or 80 years old. Age impacts how customers shop and what they expect from an ecommerce site. Maybe they prioritize social media reviews. Maybe they value customer service. Whatever the customer demographic, tailor the buyer journey to your audience.

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