Younger consumers are planning to spend more on shopping for the rest of the year compared to last year, including during the holidays, according to Near’s recent report, The Great Generational Shopping Divide. Near surveyed 2,048 global consumers across generations in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. The report delves into the distinct shopping habits, preferences, and outlooks of four major generations: Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, and Boomers.
The survey found that 52% of Gen Z and 48% of Millennials plan to spend more this year, versus just 29% of Gen X and 21% of Boomers.
However, Millennials and Gen X shoppers also report being the most impacted by the economy. 42.3% of Millennials and 42.7% of Gen X say the economy is affecting their spending plans a lot, versus 33% of Gen Z and 34.2% of Boomers.
Consumers Across Generations Are Looking for Deals
To find deals, Gen Z and Millennials are still most likely to shop the sales over Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday. 43.8% of Gen Z and 41.4% of Millennials plan to shop over Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday, versus just 27.8% of Gen X and 18.9% of Boomers. Other popular deal-seeking behaviors include shopping at bargain retailers, delaying purchases to wait for a deal, and using coupons.
Boomers Getting an Early Start to Holiday Shopping
When it comes to when consumers are planning to do their holiday shopping, Boomers are most likely to get an early start with 36% saying they’re getting started before November 1. Meanwhile, Gen Z and Millennials are most likely to say they’re shopping over Black Friday weekend through Cyber Monday, with 44% and 41% indicating they’re planning for that, respectively.
Deal-Seeking in Action Over Black Friday
Two of the preferred deal-seeking tactics for Gen Z and Millennials are sales and outlet malls. We can see the lift in action by looking at consumer behavior data around the visitation lift on Black Friday 2022 for different types of shopping centers. We compared the overall average of US shopping centers to 5 of the top shopping malls in the US and 5 of the top outlet malls.
While shopping centers overall saw a 33% lift in visitation vs. the week prior, the shopping malls saw an 82% lift. But outlet malls beat them all by a healthy margin, with a 139% lift in visitation on Black Friday vs. the week prior.
How Retailers Can Win With Consumers
To win with consumers across a diverse range of preferences, retailers must:
- Optimize marketing offerings towards the preferred deal-seeking strategies of each generation.
- Utilize consumer behavior data to curate highly-relevant audiences based on demographic, places visited, brand affinities and more.
- Lean into personalization for shoppers – ensure you have high quality consumer behavior data on shopping patterns, demographics, and more.
- Attribute store visits and other behaviors to consumers who saw ads, visited your website and more.
- Understand both visitation patterns and demographics in locating and formatting stores.
By understanding the unique shopping habits and preferences of each generation, retailers can create targeted marketing campaigns and shopping experiences that will resonate with consumers.
This survey was conducted between July 7-19 2023, with a total of 2,048 global respondents in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia, census-weighted by age, gender, and geography.