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
- Half the purchases made by Gen Z are the result of impulse buying.
- 44% of Gen Z shoppers want a site to personalize for them.
- 31% will pay more for sustainable products.
- 55% of Gen Z purchases are made on a cell phone.
- 97% of Gen Z use social media as a source of shopping inspiration.
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
- 66% of Millennial shoppers would switch brands if offered a discount.
- 45% buy online to compare products and prices.
- 84% of Millennials are influenced by user-generated content,
- 71% of Millennial shoppers are active in loyalty programs and 75% share personal information to personalized the experience.
- 47% purchased something recommended by a brand in the last six months.
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
- Baby boomers are the fastest-growing group of online shoppers.
- 93% of baby boomers say good customer service leads to future purchases.
- 67% of baby boomers say that if a product is available online or in a nearby store, they will purchase it at their local retailer.
- Only 11% feel brands personalize very well for them.
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.