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There is plenty of research available to show key differences between generations – whether in terms of wealth, social network use, or television consumption. A new report [download page] from BRP shows that there are also significant variances in shopping behavior by age, in particular between those who grew up in the internet age (“Digital Consumers” age 18-37) and those born before this time (“Traditional Consumers” age 38+).

The research claims that Digital Consumers are said to have higher expectations for the retail experience and more of a love for technology. What’s more, Digital Consumers are more likely to share their shopping experience (good or bad) online. Some 56% of the Digital Consumers surveyed said they would share an unsatisfactory shopping experience on social media, a percentage more than double that of Traditional Consumers (27%). The good news for retailers and marketers alike is that some 3 in 5 Digital Consumers (61%) also said they would share an exceptional shopping experience on social media, a figure again more than twice as high as Traditional Consumers (29%).

Digital Consumers are not only likely to post on social media about their shopping experience, but they are also more likely to contact the retailer about their exceptional (65%) or unsatisfactory (66%) experience. While only about half (49%) of Traditional Consumers would contact a retailer after having a good shopping experience, they are almost as likely as Digital Consumers to contact a retailer if they have an unsatisfactory experience (64%).

Exceptional customer service is something that marketers should be focusing on, especially as brand marketers see customer service as their top method for breaking through the noise in this new digital landscape.

Here are some more points of interest from the report:

  • Some 64% of Traditional Consumers said they compare prices online vs. 59% of Digital Consumers;
  • Nearly two-thirds (65%) of Digital Consumers want personalized recommendations, but marketers should keep in mind that shoppers get frustrated when personalization goes wrong;
  • A high percentage of Digital (87%) and Traditional Consumers (60%) agree that self-service options let them control their own experience;
  • However, far more Digital Consumers (75%) are more likely to choose a store based on whether it has self-checkout than Traditional Consumers (45%).

To read more, download the report here.

About the Data: The BRP Consumer Survey was fielded in December 2018 via an online survey to 1,298 US consumers. The survey findings have a 95% confidence level with a +/- 3% margin of error. The break down of respondents by age is as follows Gen Z (18-21) 5%, Millennials (22-34) 30%, Gen X (35-54) 24%, Baby Boomers (55-72) 35% and Silent Generation (73+) 7%.

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