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How generational differences influence path to purchase

Despite plenty of generational differences, there is one thing that shoppers of all ages put a priority on.

Customer service ranks as the number one factor that affects the purchasing decision across all age groups, according to research compiled by Alliance Data businesses. The research data was used to compile an infograph that introduces four personas of shoppers who were raised during different generations, and demonstrates how they shop. See the infographic here.

Some highlights from the research include:

• Since millennials came of age during the social media boom it is no surprise that they are more trusting than the generations before them of a stranger’s online reviews or a retailer’s recommendation — even if it didn’t completely satisfy their needs in the end.

• Gen Xers live extremely busy lives as they try to balance family, work and their own commitments, which is why 40% of them value a fast checkout experience that can allow them to continue moving.

• Baby Boomers were born during a time when an infinite number of products were available for purchase, so they never felt a deep connection with any specific brand or product.

• The Silent Generation, which grew up during The Great Depression, are very prudent with their purchases and prefer to shop brands they know and trust.

"The key takeaway for retailers is that all generations ranked customer service first over payment security, brand interaction and promotions when it comes to factors that affect their purchase decisions," said Rodney Davenport, VP of strategic insights at Alliance Data. "While technology and innovation are important, success in retail still comes down to understanding who your customers are, being responsive to their needs, and catering to the way they like to shop.”

The data provided in the infographic was compiled from research conducted Alliance Data, AllianceData Card Services, Loyalty One, and Epsilon.
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