Family affects Gen X shopping habits
Gen X shoppers are significantly influenced by their families when choosing brands and making purchase decisions both online and in-store. Children especially have a major role when Gen X consumers decide what to buy.
In March 2011, Experian Simmons asked US adult internet users about the primary factors that affect their shopping behaviors and attitudes. Those ages 35 to 44 overindexed in a number of influences, several involving their children.
For instance, when asked whether their children had a major effect on the brands they choose, Gen X shoppers were 32 percentage points more likely than the average consumer to say yes. Shoppers in this age group also tend to be affected by their children’s requests for certain items. But kids could also be a burden for purchase decisions, if they asked for too many nonessential items.
A study on American consumers conducted by GfK MRI and published in June yielded similar results. Indexing at 25 points above average consumers, Gen X shoppers tended to be more influenced by their children in brand selection than adults overall.
Both studies found that coupons and family are influential factors for Gen X shoppers. Consumers ages 35 to 44 are more inclined to try new brands and stores if they have a coupon. Gen Xers enjoy shopping with their significant others and family, as they play an important role in shaping their brand opinions.
According to the US Census Bureau’s “Current Populations Survey,” more than 60% of the Gen X population is married and a comparable percentage has children under the age of 18. Given the importance family and children play in Gen Xers’ purchase decisions, marketers should make sure their branding appeals to the entire family. Promotional offers and coupons would also appeal to Gen Xers, who are frequently seeking opportunities to save additional money.