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Survey reveals different spending habits across the generations

Millennials and Gen Z really are different than older generations, according to a new survey from Epsilon.

The survey, “Age matters: A guide to cross-generation marketing,” found a noticeable change in spending and brand interactions among Millennial and Gen Z consumers, who generally prefer self-serve options and services that put consumers in control.

More specifically, the study found:

• Gen Z is two times more likely to use an online-only store or brand website than any other generation.

• Millennials spend more online than other generations, including at retailers such as Amazon, Gilt and Zappos.

• About 75% of Gen Z and Millennials use smartphones to shop online – more than any other generation.

• More Gen Z (22.5%) spend with industry disruptors like Uber compared to Millennials (21.6%) and Gen X (17.1%).

• Gen Z has the highest number of transactions in travel and over-index on self-serve options like Airbnb, Uber and Lyft.

The study also indicates Baby Boomers are the biggest annual spenders ($548.1B), followed by Gen X ($357B). However, Gen Z has the highest annual average of total transactions (358 transactions) compared to Millennials (330 transactions), Gen X (306 transactions), Baby Boomers (269 transactions) and the Silent Generation (202 transactions).

All generations exhibited multichannel shopping behaviors:

• 80% of consumers in each generation have recently shopped in a store.

• Going to stores is preferable for almost every generation except Millennials, who shop in-store and online equally.

• Boomers with kids are more likely to shop online (42%) than Boomers without (33%).

Finally, the study reveals social media is used across generations, but platform preferences vary.

• Two-thirds of Millennials use Facebook daily while more than 50% of Gen Z use Instagram and Snapchat daily.

• Instagram usage is dominated by Gen Z (60%) and Millennials (40%).

• The youngest (Gen Z) and oldest generations (Silents) are more likely to have given up on social media; 5%-17% don’t use it at all.
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