insights | 01.11.2022

Every age matters! How different age groups use tech and eCommerce

Article topics
  1. Introducing the different age groups
  2. 1. Younger people have shorter attention spans
  3. 2. Gen X loves email and SMS marketing
  4. 3. Millennials are influenced by imagery
  5. 4. More older people are getting online
  6. 5. Gen Z are less likely to be brand loyal
  7. 6. Don’t count out Generation Alpha just yet

When you operate an eCommerce store, it’s essential to understand who is buying your products. Where do they live? Where do they work? And most importantly… how old are they?

Different age groups, from the Silent Generation to Gen Z, shop online in different ways. When you understand how they use eCommerce and interact with digital marketing, you’re one step closer to growing your revenue.

Here are some of our favourite facts about how age groups buy online and how you can apply this knowledge to your eCommerce store.

Introducing the different age groups

We make many references to a range of generational cohorts in this article. Here are the different age groups that you might find in your online store:

  • Silent Generation. Those born between 1928 and 1945. Estimated to be 5.5 million in the UK
  • Baby Boomers. Those born between 1946 and 1964. Estimated to be 14.1 million in the UK
  • Generation X (‘Gen X’). Those born between 1965 and 1980. Estimated to be 14.0 million in the UK
  • Millennials. Those born between 1981 and 1996. Estimated to be 14.3 million in the UK
  • Generation Z (‘Gen Z’). Those born between 1997 and 2012. Estimated to be 12.7 million in the UK
  • Generation Alpha (‘Gen Alpha’). Those born between 2013 and the present day. Estimated to be 6.3 million in the UK

1. Younger people have shorter attention spans

It’s estimated that a Gen Zer’s average online attention span is eight seconds, four seconds shorter than a Millennial.

Why are attention spans getting shorter? Access to technology. It’s now easier than ever for people to find the information they need online, meaning anything slow or overly long is quickly pushed aside.

This makes it more critical than ever to ensure your website loads quickly, and shoppers can find the information they need. If not, they’re likely to leave your site.

2. Gen X loves email and SMS marketing

Gen X is often overlooked when compared to Millennials and Gen Z. However, this age group has a lot of purchasing power, with many at the peak of their earning potential.

While Gen X uses social media and messaging apps, one of the easiest ways to reach shoppers is through email and SMS marketing. Gen X uses email more than its younger peers and is the most likely of the cohorts to take advantage of text messaging.

Effective email marketing campaigns mean you can keep Gen X up to date with your latest product launches and reward brand loyalty with exclusive offers.

3. Millennials are influenced by imagery

Millennials were the first generation to grow up with social media and the internet. As a result, this advertising cohort quickly got used to visuals, photos and advertisements online.

The top three social media platforms used by Millennials are Facebook, Instagram and YouTube – all reliant on images and videos.

High-quality photos and videos on your social media profiles and eCommerce website can tell Millennials a lot about the products you sell, making them more likely to buy.

While images are great, they need to be authentic. User-generated content (UGC) can be a great way to do this, with UGC being 20% more influential than all other types of media.

4. More older people are getting online

A decade ago, only 32% of the over 65s made purchases online. This figure has now increased to over 65%.

Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation are now getting more tech-savvy, from ordering groceries online to making the most of IoT tech like fitness trackers and smart speakers.

If you sell products to this target audience but haven’t considered eCommerce as an option, developing an online store may boost your profits. Similarly, a high-quality, well-joined-up omnichannel experience can seamlessly help your customers move from online to offline shopping and vice versa.

5. Gen Z are less likely to be brand loyal

In the past, when customers found a product they liked, they stuck with it for decades. Now that a wider range of items is available online, younger customers are more likely to be choosy.

According to Statista, 60% of Millennials consider themselves brand loyal, while 40% of Gen Zers say they are. So if you’re trying to encourage Gen Z to buy from your business, you might need to work a little harder to provide exceptional customer service and a solid user experience.

Another interesting fact to ponder is that while eight out of ten Gen Zers like the idea of loyalty programmes, only five out of ten are members. This means that if you provide a loyalty programme or rewards scheme, you need to remove potential barriers to entry and give your customers offers they can’t say no to.

6. Don’t count out Generation Alpha just yet

The oldest of the Generation Alpha cohort aren’t quite in double digits yet. However, just because they aren’t old enough to own a bank account, doesn’t mean they don’t have influence.

Generation Alpha has grown up with eCommerce, smart speakers, and social media and is easily coming to grips with technologies including augmented reality and artificial intelligence. As a result, these customers will have a lot of spending power, a large degree of impact and high expectations.

The children of today will be the shoppers of tomorrow, so it pays to futureproof your eCommerce strategy to offer a great customer experience.

Let Xigen do the work for you when it comes to optimising your eCommerce business

Changing your eCommerce site to appeal to the right shoppers can be challenging. That’s where we come in.

Our digital marketing specialists will develop a high-performance eCommerce website designed with your target audience in mind. From enhancing the user experience to reviewing the customer journey, we’re with you every step of the way.

Contact us today and take the first step towards an optimised website that drives sales and gives your customers what they want, no matter their age.

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