Gen X, born between 1965 and 1980, is the highest spending demographic in the country, with an average annual expenditure of $83,000. Now more than ever, ecommerce retailers need to understand Gen X’s online shopping behaviors and make sure their business is attuned to the ways these customers purchase products.
So what makes these Gen Xers tick? To truly get inside this generation’s minds, let’s get curious about what drives them to shop and how a well-designed support center can help you land these shoppers and turn them into repeat buyers.
Gen X Consumer Behavior
What products do Generation X buy?
At an average age of 50, Gen X is well into their careers with near-adult-aged children, thinking about the incoming costs of higher education, car payments, and numerous other big-ticket expenses. This group also prefers no-nonsense marketing to understand the products they buy for their capabilities and durability.
To that end, if your brand targets Gen X shoppers, your customer experiences need to demonstrate transparency and concision, outlining your benefits clearly and in as few words as possible to plant yourselves firmly as the brand of choice for this generation.
Gen X shops online less than younger generations, but when they do, they look for brands they trust and that have a record of delivering quality products and services.
According to a HubSpot report, 73% of Gen Xers prefer to purchase products in-store, but when they do shop online, 53% favor big-box retailers like Amazon. Overall, about one in four Gen X shoppers like to go directly through a company’s website, and just 13% prefer to purchase products through social media apps.
The Challenge of Gen X Shoppers
Generating more online sales from Gen X is therefore going to be more challenging than it is with younger demographics, especially when it comes to getting them away from the Amazons and Walmarts of the world.
Tapping Into Gen X Online Shopping Habits
Gen X responds to brands that demonstrate commitment to their values. They also want to experience retailers’ customer service before fully giving their long-term loyalty in return. Here’s how that plays out.
1. Gen X wants a brand they can trust
Within the same HubSpot report, 82% of Gen Xers said they were more likely to buy from a company that they can trust with their data. The best place to start bolstering customer trust? Your data. Brands need to not only collect customers’ information transparently and house it securely, but they also need to use it effectively. To that end, brands can demonstrate their data trustworthiness by applying it to create more personal experiences.
To prove your trustworthiness, use a support platform that collects and stores data as securely as possible. The partner you use should allow you to treat each piece of customer information as if it were your own, without sacrificing the important accessibility qualities that make great support centers run smoothly.
(Not sure where to start or what tools you need? Brush up on the fundamentals with customer data management principles.)
2. Gen X seeks community following
One of Gen X’s biggest shopping considerations (at 62%) is whether or not a brand has an active community around it. Building strong customer communities comes from developing loyal, long-lasting relationships, which are best fostered through personalization.
Another great way to nurture your customer community is giving them a reason to start the conversation with one another. The support center is a fundamental part of these efforts, as great service is the key to getting shoppers talking and recommending brands to one another. According to the 2022 Customer Expectations Report, 59% of consumers said they’d recommend a brand to a friend because of its customer service.
3. Gen X is willing to be loyal to the right brand
Brand loyalty seems to be the most important factor among Gen X shoppers compared to other generations. More than four in 10 of those in this age group will stick with brands they like, according to an eMarketer study, which means it’s important to invest in the experiences that make shoppers fall in love with your brand.
Strong customer loyalty lives and dies by the support center. To earn Gen X’s trust, make sure your customer service team can develop relationships that last by equipping agents with the tools to connect with shoppers through easily accessed customer details. This not only creates a sense of trust, but also shows your attention to detail in making shoppers feel at home.
What Is the Difference Between Millennials and Gen X On Shopping?
Millennials are either shopping just for themselves or for their young-but-growing families, and are more interested in supporting brands that align with their personal values, such as sustainability.
Get a breakdown of other generations’ shopping habits:
- Gen Z Shopping Habits — The Breakdown
- Millennial Shopping Habits — a Breakdown for CX Teams
- Exploring the Changing Shopping Habits of Baby Boomers
- Silent Generation Shopping Habits
Building Loyalty With Gen X Using Gladly
Brands can drive loyalty by creating customer experiences that keep shoppers engaged. The best way to get started is to invest in a support platform like Gladly that makes personalization a fundamental part of the service experience.
Using a conversation-driven approach that foregoes the impersonal aspects of ticketed systems, Gladly helps you show Gen X shoppers you’re attentive to their needs and willing to do what it takes to make them happy.
2022 Customer Expectations Report