The Shopping Habits Of Each Generation

by Sachin

Naturally, each generation has its own defining traits that have characterised their habits. This is also true of their shopping patterns. From Baby Boomers to Gen Z – how does each generation prefer to browse and buy?

Baby Boomers

After a ‘baby boom’ following World War II, this generation earned their nickname. Typically born between the mid-40s and mid-60s, Baby Boomers have had to adopt more technology in order to reconnect with old friends or keep in touch with family members that may be overseas.

While they may be the highest consumers of traditional media – newspapers, radio and TV – it’s been reported that there has been a rise in them trying to keep up with the times – spending more hours online and even making their purchases there. According to the Office for National Statistics, more than half of people (54%) aged 65 and over revealed that they shop online, using either a debit or credit card. While they’re not prolific online spenders, it is suggested they make between three to five purchases within a three-month period. 

Generation X

Individuals born between the mid-60s and late-70s fall into Generation X. While technology was advancing fast as Gen X were growing up, it wasn’t nearly as readily available as it is now. Due to knowing both a digital and non-digital world, individuals within this bracket tend to be more resourceful. Gen X have both children and parents to support, so when it comes to looking for products, brands may be more successful if they deliver straightforward messages in their marketing – as well as some discounts or offers on items.


Arguably one of the most talked about generations, Millennials are the individuals born between the 80s and mid-90s. What has had the biggest impact in shaping their lives? The explosion of the internet. 

Typically showing less brand loyalty than previous generations, Millennials shop around for items, and often buy on impulse. Today, there are a whole host of popular online retailers they can make purchases from, as well as many peer-to-peer social shopping apps such as Depop, whe re they can buy clothing or shoes. 

Due to issues like student debt, they are less likely to make major life purchases – such as a house – early on, preferring to delay those until they are older. Unlike the generations above them, they spend money on things that were once taboo: plastic surgery and therapy. 

Generation Z

With easy access to social media, when it comes to making purchases Gen Z find themselves identifying with influencers. If these influencers are brand ambassadors or encouraging individuals to make certain purchases, Gen Z are more motivated to do so. Born after the mid-90s, they’ve grown up in a hyper-connected world, continuously display their lives on social media and as a result, feel the pressure to purchase new items such as clothes. Rather than visiting stores, they prefer to shop online – choosing to re-sell the items if they’re not right.

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