Description

With this report, you’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of how Gen X shop online. Robust independent statistics alongside expert analysis will provide you with a strong headstart against competitors when considering Gen X in your business strategy.

Find out how below, as we summarize the key topics covered, and offer handpicked insights from the report.

Key Topics Covered

  • Gen X consumer profile and demographic analysis.
  • Retailers shopped by Gen X – the ‘where’ and ‘how’.
  • Sources of information used when shopping online.
  • Gen X’s frustrations with online shopping and how brands can overcome this.
  • Most important factors for this demographic when shopping online.

US Gen X Consumer Overview

Generation X, often overshadowed, represents a valuable market segment with a significant potential wealth transfer of $30 trillion in the coming decades. This financially robust demographic, juggling both child-rearing and eldercare, prioritizes brands that offer convenience. Despite their smaller size, they are notable online shoppers, with nearly half purchasing online at least once a week, making understanding and engaging this segment crucial for businesses.

Gen X Online Shopping Habits

Gen X shoppers display a calculated approach to online shopping, contrasting with the impulsive tendencies of younger generations (see our Marketing to Gen Z Report). Brands can spark more spontaneity by showcasing product value and leveraging personalized alerts about wish-listed items or sales. Gen X women, in particular, utilize saved item features extensively.

In terms of loyalty programs, Gen X consumers are driven by tangible rewards and personalized experiences. Higher-income consumers actively seek out deals, balancing quality with affordability, while lower-income consumers appreciate unexpected discounts on regular purchases. These insights underscore the importance of a nuanced understanding of Gen X’s diverse online shopping habits.

Inside the full report, you’ll gain access to an abundance of relevant insights and opportunities for your brand to better strategize for Gen X. You can also explore further, with our Consumer Lifestyle, Marketing & Promotion Market Research, or Ecommerce Market Research.

Demographic Definition and Brands Discussed

Demographic definition: Gen X is the group of consumers between Millennials and Baby Boomers. They were born between years 1965 and 1979 and are between ages 44 and 58 in 2023.

Brands: A number of brands that are relevant and interesting to the analysis of Gen X online shopping habits are reviewed and discussed in this report.

Additional Features Included in Your Report

Different Digital Formats: PDF for conveniently sharing with your team, PowerPoint for quickly including in your presentation, as well as an Infographic and an Excel Databook.

Mintel’s Clients Portal: Our portal offers instant access to actionable analysis and trends pieces relevant to your industry that are published almost daily. You can also browse for more market research reports.

Expert Analysis from a Retail Specialist

This report, written by Katie Hansen, a leading retail and ecommerce analyst, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to add expert context to the numbers.

Often referred to as ‘The Forgotten Generation,’ Gen X is certainly a key demographic for brands and retailers to understand. Sandwiched between Millennials and Baby Boomers, Gen X is undergoing life changes as older children might be leaving the house for the first time, caring for aging parents and trying to find time for themselves in between. Brands can be a partner for Gen X during this time, showing how ecommerce offerings can make it easier for Gen X to get the products and experiences they are looking for to make the most of their current lifestage.

Katie Hansen, Senior Analyst, Retail and eCommerce

 

Katie Hansen
Senior Analyst, Retail & eCommerce

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • This Report looks at the following areas
        • Definition
          • Market context
          • Executive Summary

              • Top takeaways
                • Target audience
                  • Figure 1: Gen X demographic breakdown, 2023
                • Consumer trends
                  • Figure 2: Online shopping frequency, 2023
                  • Figure 3: Frustrations with online shopping, 2023
                  • Figure 4: Factors most important when shopping online, 2023
                • Opportunities
                  • Be a partner for Gen X to help manage stress, life changes
                    • Tap into humor, nostalgia to connect with Gen X consumers
                      • Ensure basic ecommerce offerings are exceptional
                        • Leverage the store to meet the needs of online shoppers
                        • Gen X Overview

                          • Gen X is living a good life in the middle
                            • Figure 5: Population by generation, 2023
                            • Figure 6: Gen X demographic breakdown, 2023
                          • Gen X values
                            • Explore nostalgic experiences
                              • Create an identity
                                • Do what is right
                                  • Respect the surroundings
                                    • Tap into technology
                                      • Provide strong value
                                        • Focus on wellbeing
                                        • Market Drivers

                                          • Gen X switches up their shopping behavior to make do with inflationary pressures
                                            • Figure 7: Consumer Price Index change from previous year, 2021-23
                                        • Competitive Strategies and Market Opportunities

                                          • Recognize Gen X’s lifestage transition to assist in decision-making, stress management
                                            • Figure 8: Mattress Firm advocates for better sleep health for empty nesters, 2023
                                          • Show Gen X parents how to make the most of their newfound free time
                                            • Influencers aren’t just for Millennials and Gen Z
                                              • Figure 9: Gen X influencers tap into nostalgia, humor to reach their audience, 2023
                                            • Marketers don’t always have to single out Gen X to reach them
                                              • Figure 10: GoGo squeeZ blends demographics to showcase versatile use case for its products, 2023
                                          • The Gen X Online Shopper – Fast Facts

                                            • Gen X Online Shopper Profile

                                              • Gen X is online and ready to shop
                                                • Figure 11: Online shopping frequency, 2023
                                              • Smartphones are the go-to shopping source for Gen X
                                                • Figure 12: Typical online shopping habits, 2023
                                              • Shopping online is crucial for Gen X
                                                • Figure 13: Percent of purchases made online, 2023
                                            • Retailers Shopped

                                              • Gen X wants to go to one store to buy everything they need
                                                  • Figure 14: Retailers shopped, 2023
                                                • Gen X leans into online shopping at Amazon, mass merchandisers, and department stores more than other consumers
                                                  • Figure 15: Top three retailers shopped, by generation, 2023
                                              • Items Purchased Online

                                                • Food and drink, clothing and personal care products are biggest opportunities online with Gen X
                                                  • Figure 16: Items purchased, 2023
                                                • Brands can offer consumers easier ways to purchase products across categories
                                                  • Figure 17: Items purchased, by gender, 2023
                                              • Sources of Information

                                                • Gen X seeks out online reviews, stores, and social media to make informed purchase decisions
                                                  • Figure 18: Source of information, 2023
                                                • Men look to video-based platforms; women seek information from those they know more personally
                                                  • Figure 19: Source of information, by gender, 2023
                                                • More affluent consumers have the opportunity to investigate different sources
                                                  • Figure 20: Source of information, by household income, 2023
                                              • Online Shopping Behaviors

                                                • Gen X is patient and looking for brands to listen to their input
                                                    • Figure 21: Online shopping behaviors, 2023
                                                  • Higher-income consumers are more active in researching coupons, discounts
                                                    • Figure 22: Online shopping behaviors, by household income, 2023
                                                • Frustrations with Online Shopping

                                                  • Gen X wants to know all the details before making a purchase
                                                      • Figure 23: Frustrations with online shopping, 2023
                                                    • Parents need clarity on products prior to purchase
                                                      • Figure 24: Frustrations with online shopping, by parental status, 2023
                                                  • Important Factors When Shopping Online

                                                    • Gen X seeks a streamlined, well-functioning purchase experience
                                                        • Figure 25: Factors most important when shopping online, 2023
                                                      • Parents look for elevated services online
                                                        • Figure 26: Factors most important when shopping online, by parental status, 2023
                                                    • Attitudes toward Shopping Online

                                                      • Gen X expects privacy protection, high ethical standards from brands
                                                        • Figure 27: Attitudes – Brand behavior, 2023
                                                      • Gen X consumers move fluidly between in-store and online shopping options
                                                        • Figure 28: Attitudes – Shopping preferences, 2023
                                                      • Consumers are open to new brands if they prove helpful for managing their budgets
                                                        • Figure 29: Attitudes – Brand loyalty, 2023
                                                      • Lean into sustainability to connect with Gen X
                                                        • Figure 30: Attitudes – Alternative shopping options, 2023
                                                      • Consumers will develop relationships with brands utilizing ecommerce, physical retail
                                                        • Figure 31: Attitudes – Brand engagement, 2023
                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                      • Data sources
                                                        • Consumer survey data
                                                          • Consumer qualitative research
                                                            • Abbreviations and terms
                                                              • Abbreviations
                                                                • Terms
                                                                • Appendix – The Consumer

                                                                    • Figure 32: Retailers shopped, by key Gen X demographics, 2023

                                                                About the report

                                                                This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.

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