While Millennials and Baby Boomers are likely to get quite a bit of attention from marketers because of their demographic size, the 65 million people in Generation X, representing individuals age 35 to 50, is too large of a market for any company to ignore. Considering that the life stage Gen Xers currently find themselves in is one of disposable income and high spending, the potential exists for businesses across a variety of industries to cash in on their spending habits. A recent eMarketer report takes a deeper look at Gen X and their common shopping habits.

Unlike Baby Boomers who may shy away from digital shopping in favor of brick and mortar stores, Gen Xers are comfortable with online shopping. Of course, that’s not to say that this demographic shuns in-person buying experiences because they don’t. Instead, Gen X shoppers are comfortable blending in-store and digital shopping experiences in order to get the best prices, quality and customer service available.

The eMarketer report estimates that more than 70% of Gen Xers will make digital purchases in 2015. And this figure is expected to climb in the coming years. By 2019:

  • 78% of individuals age 35 to 44 will make digital purchases
  • 5% of individuals age 45 to 54 will make digital purchases.

These estimates make Gen X the demographic most likely to take advantage of digital shopping channels, with shoppers age 18 to 24 trailing behind at a close 77.9%. Interest in online shopping falls to under 74% for the individuals age 55 to 64.

The thing about Gen Xers that is truly important for businesses to realize is that individuals in this age group typically have a number of family and work responsibilities that fuel a hectic and fact-paced lifestyle. While this demographic is not known for uncontrolled or impulsive spending, those with a great deal on their plate are willing and typically able to pay for the products and services that provide convenience, as saving time is an important priority.

Although many Gen Xers have expressed discontent with Big Business, they are still remarkably loyal to certain brands. In fact, a survey conducted by CrowdTwist in July 2015 asked North American Gen X Internet users how they would characterize their brand loyalty. The survey said:

  • Quite loyal – 34.7%
  • Moderately loyal – 34.2%
  • Extremely loyal – 14.9%
  • Slightly loyal – 10.2%
  • Not loyal at all – 6%.

When the findings of the CrowdTwist survey are coupled with the eMarketer report, it becomes clear that providing the products and services Gen Xers need most could help you develop a loyal following of consumers with money to spend.


eMarketer. Don’t Discount the Power of Gen X. September 15, 2015.