The Generational Shopping Cheat Sheet - Part 1

Lately, it seems like everyone has something to say about how the generational divides in our population are influencing industries from healthcare and education to tech and social media. The difference in mindset between the generations has also ruffled the feathers of those involved in fashion, particularly regarding how to reach each of these complex groups of people when they all seem to function completely differently! If you’re looking for a rundown of each generation’s shopping habits, you’ve come to the right place.

Baby Boomers
Such a catchy title, no? The Baby Boomer generation is generally considered to have been born between the early to mid-1940s and 1964 after WWII when suddenly everyone had a bit more time on their hands... In the US, one Boomer turns 65 every eight seconds and by 2035, the number of individuals at retirement age will outnumber those under the age of 18 for the first time in America's history…so yes, this generation has heavy numbers, and heavy spending power. In fact, 70% of the disposable income in the U.S. is controlled by Baby Boomers.

As this group becomes increasingly social media-savvy, they’ll be able to put their money towards whatever’s trending. Don’t think that Baby Boomers are completely stuck in the stone age! 82% of them belong to at least once social networking site (primarily Facebook – shocking, I know) and they actually spend more time online than millennials (now that’s actually shocking). With this being said, 84% of Baby Boomers still do prefer to shop in stores. As confident shoppers, they’re the most likely generation to write off a retailer if they have a bad experience with a sales associate…time for some HR training.

Generation X
Sandwiched between two very flashy generations and often forgotten, members of Gen X were born between the years of 1965 and 1980. They’re typically decision-makers, as according to Pew Research Center, nearly half (47%) of adults in their 40s and 50s have a parent who’s 65 or older and are either raising a young child or financially supporting a child who’s 18 or older. That means that this generation spends more time and money on others than they do on themselves.

This entrepreneurial, individualistic population is very brand loyal despite an overarching sense of cynicism due to fiascos of their time such as the 1987 stock market crash and the dot-com bubble burst in the mid-1990s. They prefer straight to the point advertising messages that are driven by loyalty programs and online rewards. And speaking of our beloved “online”, companies often overlook the fact that Gen X is tech astute (they were the first to see in-home computers after all!). 56% of Gen Xers prefer to search and purchase online, and spend an average of six hours a week online shopping according to a recent survey by Big Commerce.  It’s about time that this neglected generation, ironically raised in a very loud era of grunge and rock, is heard by fashion companies!

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Do you belong to, or know someone who belongs to, one of these generations (YES)? We want to hear from you! Let us know what you think @anjeclothing. Stay tuned for next week as we delve into the tech-induced minds of the final two generations!


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