How does each generation of consumers purchase?

Their consumption habits differ a lot, especially in relation to purchase channels, payment methods and desired experiences.

In recent years terms such as «Millennials», «Generation Z» or «Baby Boomers» have become generalized. But do we really know who belongs to each of these generations or groups? It is important to know all our customers in detail if we want to adapt us to their consumption habits and reach them by offering them the best experiences during the purchase process. The next paragraphs highlight the buying habits of each generation, emphasising their relationship with online commerce.

Analyzing the younger consumer generations, we find the Centennial and Millennial, also called Generation Z and Generation Y respectively. These two generations include the 60% of the global population and, therefore, they need special attention. The Millennial generation includes people born between 1981 and 1993, while Generation Z is made up of people born between 1994 and 2010. Although we may think that their preferences related to products and the way to acquire them are similar, the truth is that their consumption habits differ a lot, especially in relation to purchase channels, payment methods and desired experiences.

  • Generation Z: these young people are not connected, but born connected. In spite of this, they buy online less than the rest of the Spaniards. Although they buy more often, they spend less, valuing the physical store and the experience they live in it. The reasons that attract them to the online channel are the convenience and the offers they can find.
  • Millenials: they stand out for their consumption of content through the Internet, online shopping, environmental concern and the use of more visual social networks. They favour ecommerce and usually make purchases from their smartphones, a practice that more than 70% of the members of this generation perform. Some of the factors that favour their purchases in the online channel are free shipping, discounts, speed in transactions and simple refunds.

In addition to Centennials and Millennials, we cannot leave aside the rest of generations and their particularities.

  • Generation X: They were born between 1969 and 1980, in the middle of the crisis of 1973 and the Spanish transition. Although they have not always lived in a digital environment, they are getting used to it quickly. Actually, in 2017, 25% of those over 35 years old paid with their mobile phones for their purchases made in physical stores.
  • Baby Boomers Generation: These are the ones born between 1949 and 1968, during the demographic explosion. They are the most senior e-buyers, but we should keep them in mind. They buy fewer products online and less frequently, but when they do it, they buy high end and more expensive goods. This generation is attached to information, to objective data, in contrast to the younger generation who are moved by the feelings or history transmitted by a brand. A multi-channel strategy is needed to reach them because they trust more on those companies that still have something analogical, allowing them to communicate with them by telephone or face-to-face.

From Sipay Plus, the Spanish payment gateway specialized in the development of payment solutions at the forefront of the latest trends in innovation and technology, they emphasize that «knowing consumers you can connect with them through their preferred channels and offer them an adapted and personalized purchase process, with the payment methods they prefer both in the online world and in physical stores. Therefore, it is necessary for merchants to have a single platform, through which they can obtain information on all the operations carried out in the business, and which facilitates future decisions».

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