Holiday shopping may be underway, but that doesn’t mean the generations shop the same.
Not so surprisingly, younger consumers who fell into the millennial and Gen Z category were characterized as most receptive to money-saving sales. More seasoned consumers who fell into Gen X and Baby Boomer category were said to have funds to spare when shopping.
“No consumer can be left behind in today’s increasingly competitive retail environment where shoppers demand a more personalized approach than ever before,” Marshal Cohen, a chief industry advisor at The NPD Group said regarding the report’s findings overall.
He added, “In order to win the holiday retail battle, marketers need to address holiday shoppers across every generation, and also make them feel like they matter.”
Individuals who are around college-aged, 18 to 22, were said to have “plans to spend the least of all generations,” according to The NPD Group. However, the report said one-third of Gen Z respondents said they intend to spend more in 2019 than they did last year.
When it comes down to Black Friday, one-third of respondents said they will start their holiday shopping then, which is the highest of all generations surveyed.
In a surprising twist, The NPD Group found that although Gen Z is the generation that was born into the age of the internet, they are less likely to shop online for gifts when compared to millennials and Gen X.
When Gen Z does shop, “they are likely to buy clothing, accessories, and electronics.”
Consumers who were born between 1981 and 1996 were said to have intentions to “spend less than their older counterparts (Gen X and Boomers),” according to The NPD Group. However, just like Gen Z, one-third of millennial respondents said they plan to spend more than they did in 2018.
More than 20 percent of millennials said they will start shopping on Black Friday, which lands them in second place to Gen Z, but millennials are open to deals that will save them dollars in general.
Out of all the generations, millennials are most likely to shop online. Their tech-forward leanings also resulted in 46 percent of millennial respondents stating they intend to buy electronics.
Conversely, 19 percent of respondents made it clear that they intend to shop at dollar stores.
“Gen X shoppers plan to spend more than all other generations,” according to The NPD Group’s report.
This may have something do with Gen X being made up of individuals born between 1961 and 1981, which puts many of them at an age range that is typical for parents and new grandparents. This demographic might be swayed to spend more on young family members and have the funds to do so since they have not reached retirement age.
The NPD Group found that the shopping habits of Gen X are diverse. When it comes down to what they are buying as gifts, 68 percent of respondents said they plan to buy clothing and accessories while 44 percent lean toward entertainment items.
The report also found that 51 percent of respondents said they intend to shop at mass merchants. Seventy-seven percent said they plan to shop online.
About one-fifth of Gen X respondents said they will start shopping on Black Friday, which is on par with millennials.
According to The NPD Group, Baby Boomers are not the generation for last-minute shopping. Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they plan to start holiday shopping before Thanksgiving, which makes them most likely to be early birds out of the other generations.
In terms of spending, Baby Boomers are second-highest to shell out dough for the people in their lives. The NPD Group found that “spending will stay the same as last year” for this generation.
Out of all the generations, Baby Boomers are more likely to get in the holiday spirit with spirits. Twenty-six percent of these respondents said they plan to purchase liquor or wine as gifts.
Moreover, Baby Boomers are most likely to shop at department stores and national chains when compared to other generations – at 24 percent and 27 percent, respectively.
“Silent Generation shoppers will be important at stores,” The NPD Group report said. It also pointed out that this demographic is crucial to last-minute holiday sales. Four out of ten Silent Generation respondents said that they plan to start shopping late in the season – which is the highest of the generations.
Interestingly enough, The NPD Group found that the Silent Generation intends to spend around the same amount as millennials. Their spending plans for the upcoming holiday season are also in line with numbers from last year.
The Silent Generation is also a key demographic for online sales with half of the respondents willing to shop on the internet.