Business development · 1 September 2017

What online retailers need to know about the shopping habits of Generation X

White smartphone with shopping cart icon showing one item notification vector illustration in flat style
Almost half of Generation X consumers were seeking exclusive membership offers

As some of Britain’s most enthusiastic online shoppers, capturing the loyalty of those born between the mid 1960’s and the early 1980’s – or “Generation X” – is essential for retailers seeking a secure revenue stream.

With much research already indicating the loyalty drivers for millennials and baby boomers, OnBuy.com put the spotlight on Generation X as online consumers, analysing retail data from KPMG to help ecommerce business owners understand more about their shopping habits.

A positive customer experience stood out as the greatest loyalty driver for Britons in their 40s and 50s. Two-thirds cited “excellent customer support” as the most important attribute for a retailer, with just under half looking for exclusive membership offers.

Meanwhile, convenience was also an important factor. Some 28 per cent wanted to see customised promotions reflecting previous buys, with around a quarter looking for easy to repeat purchases and product suggestions based on sales history.

Positive reviews were also found to be crucial in leading to a sale. Over half were heading to a search engine to look for reviews and recommendations for products on brands, while 48 per cent would go straight to a company’s website for their research.

Over a quarter admitted visiting a physical store beforehand to sample a product before completing the purchase online.

As well as the expectation of good customer service and shopping convenience, the findings confirmed that Generation X was as familiar with technology as younger age groups.

One testimonial, from a 42-year old consumer from Leicester named Craig, claimed the convenience of online shopping was a particular benefit to his generation.

“With work and kids occupying a lot of my time, I really like online shopping. I can browse products online and order at the click of a button. I don’t even have to queue or waste money on parking, like you do with in-store shopping.”

Offering an expert’s perspective on the study, Lilly Jones, a London-based retail analyst, advised online retailers to consider the value of Generation X as a consumer group.

“A lot of retailers have spent a considerable amount of time and resources to understand the behaviours and preferences of [millennials and baby boomers], leaving Generation X behind as a significant consumer group,” Jones said.

“Retailers must make an active effort to understand the needs of Generation X, as they will continually drive online sales for the foreseeable future”.

The ecommerce mistakes even Amazon is guilty of making

 

Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest from Business Advice.


 
TAGS:

ABOUT THE EXPERT

Simon Caldwell is a reporter for Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and communications from the University of Liverpool, and previously worked as a content editor in the ecommerce industry.

Q&A

If you’ve found the article above useful, but have a more detailed and bespoke question, then please feel free to submit a query to our expert. We at Business Advice will get in contact with them on your behalf and arrange for a personalised response. These questions and answers will then be collated on the site for any other readers who have similar queries.

Ask a question

On the up