Posted on December 16, 2017 in Marketing Thoughts

Different Generational Customers

My grandmother passed away a few years ago. She was in her late 90’s and had led an interesting life. The first time I video conferenced with her, she thought it was the coolest thing in the world. While people her age are slightly more rare in their technical adoption than other generations, there is an increasing trend in EVERY generation to use technology more to shop, communicate and live.

A generation is a set of people defined by specific age boundaries—those who were born during a certain era. They share similar cultural and world event experiences growing up and their values and attitudes, beliefs and trends are often similar. This extends past cultural nuances and extends into many other areas. For the purpose of this blog, let us focus on identifying what the different generations are and their respective online shopping habits. Many factors determine your online customer’s  buying habits and the most significant is often the generation gap.

What Are the Different Generations?

In America, there are six living generations- defined by when they were born. While not every person within this range of birthday fits into the specific stereotype behavior, as a common group they have similarities.

1) GI Generation. Born 1901-1926.Often coined, the Greatest Generation, they fought in both wars. Although they are often still the patriarchs and matriarchs of many families, due to the age of this generation most are dying and are not statistically relevant in their shopping behavior.

2) Silents. Born 1927- 1945 The richest, most free-spending retirees in history. Many of these are starting to adopt technology, however more for communication and entertainment, not shopping.

3) Baby Boomers  1946 and 1964 Technology shifted and computers came on the public scene during these people’s lives. Technology adoption requires a learning process. Much of this generation has assimilated into the new digital age, however they still prefer brick and mortar-although that is decreasing every year as company’s like Amazon, Ebay and other internet retailers are taking over big box store and traditional chain stores migrate much of their commerce online. Often these people want voice to voice interaction.
4) Generation X 1965 and 1980 Into labels and brand names and much more likely than any generation to go into debt- justifying the expense of birthdays, holidays and other events because life is short. They are used to technical adoption and are comfortable spending online. This group is blended in their communication preference- are usually equally comfortable with talking with a customer service rep or engaging through other channels. Often buys based on “what is popular?”.

5) Generation Y/Millennials. Born between 1981 and 2000

6) Generation Z/Boomlets/I  Born after 2001

In an article in Forbes magazine, written by Matthew Shay, President and CEO, National Retail Federation

“Millennials are currently retailers’ largest demographic, with a massive consumer base dwarfing the size of their once-dominant Generation X predecessors. And they love to shop online: during the 2016 holiday season, more than one-third of online shoppers were Millennials. But just as Millennials overtook Gen X, there’s another big buying group retailers and consumer brands need to plan for, and it’s even larger: Generation Z. Born between the mid-1990s and mid-2000s, the births of U.S. Gen Zers outpaced Millennials by 3 million, hold $44 billion in buying power and are definitely a different kind of shopper.”

So who is your audience?

Regardless of their communication preference BirdSeed allows you to offer a way to engage with them in one easy click. Discover how BirdSeed can do this by contacting us today.


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