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How generation affect shopping behavior

Hero generation Hero generation Placehoder
15 JUNE 2020

Do you know which generation most of your customers belong to? If no, then it’s absolutely time to find out. If yes, do you know their purchase behavior? Knowing your customers’ generation and their behavior is of great importance. That information can guide you on how to develop your business further. Let’s have a look at the different generations.

As of today, we have four different generations:

  • Generation Z – born between 1997 - 2015
  • Millennials – born between 1981 – 1996
  • Generation X – born between 1965 – 1980
  • Baby Boomers – born between 1946 – 1964

Generation Z

The youngest but maybe the most important generation. This year, Generation Z will constitute 40% of all consumers in Europe and the US. What is so special with Generation Z is that they have never experienced a world without the Internet.

The factor that influences Gen Z’s purchase decisions the most is by far social media with 80%. The three largest channels when it comes to impact are Instagram (44%), YouTube (32%) and Snapchat (21%). In social media, this generation appreciate influencers and user-generated content. Ads with real people in real situations gets a thumbs up from Gen Z while ads that make life look perfect gets a big no-no.

How do Gen Z shop? The answer is simple, it’s all about the mobile. With their phones constantly in their hands, Gen Z do a lot of pre-shopping research as well as the final shopping directly in their mobile. Frictionless and seamless customer experience across all channels is extremely important, everything has to be smooth and simple, Gen Z has no time to spare for waiting. Read more about how to attract Gen Z to your store here.


Millennials are now the largest generation in the workforce with a lot of money to spend. The majority of the Millennials have spent their adult life with the Internet, and they use it to make better, more informed purchase decisions. Just like Gen Z, authenticity is extremely important for Millennials, they want real and transparent brands, which will be rewarded if they support a good cause. Price is another factor that affect Millennials, they want to get the most value out of their purchase. They can easily choose a product based on price instead of brand.

Millennials are the typical omni-customer, they regularly switch between different devices and channels. They are happy to visit physical stores, however technology enables them to purchase how they want, when they want and where they want.

Generation X

Generation X are the decision makers in today’s society and make up a larger percentage of spending compared to their size. Despite their big wallets, Gen X is often seen as the “middle child” and sometimes forgotten by merchants and marketers.

Gen X rewards brands that provide an honest and clear message of their products as well as marketing messages that outline an obvious call-to-action. They are likely to buy products that are unique and of high-quality.

Gen X are using their laptop more than any other generation and that is why it is important to be present online in order to attract this group. Gen X is, compared to the younger generations, more likely to conduct online research at home first and then do the actual shopping in stores.

Baby Boomers

The Baby Boomers have the greatest disposable income of all generations, that means that they have a spending power that allows them to make purchases without necessarily looking for the best price.

Even though Baby Boomers make some purchases online they really prefer the personal engagement of traditional stores and they value in-person customer service. Baby Boomers are the ones that want to shop in-store the most. A survey shows that if a Baby Boomer are planning to buy an item that is available both online and in a nearby store, they prefer to go to the store.

What do the generations have in common?

As can be seen, generation is a factor that affects peoples’ shopping behavior both in terms of channels and impact. For companies, this means that it is of great importance to know your customers and to adapt your business thereafter. One thing that all generations have in common is that they use different channels and devices when doing a purchase, they are all omni-customers meaning that companies need to adopt a omnichannel strategy.

With solid experience from a variety of industries, we at Bambora can help you to find the right omni-payment solution for you and your company, which will make the payment process smooth regardless of channel.

Sources: National Retail Federation, Revel Systems, Deloitte

Do you want to know more about Bambora’s payment solutions for omnichannel?


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