- It’s no secret that Gen Z, millennials, Gen X, and boomers have different shopping preferences.
- But who exactly will the members of these different age brackets be spending the most on when they hit the stores this holiday season?
- To find out, Business Insider teamed with global technology company Morning Consult to conduct a nationwide survey of 2,300 American adults.
- Aside from Gen Z – a group that includes actual teens – most of the respondents seemed focused on buying things for their children.
- Gen Z was also the most likely to spend the most on themselves this holiday season.
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Shoppers of all ages will be hitting the stores this holiday season, but there’s a generational gap when it comes to the content of their to-do lists: namely, who they have in mind while they’re filling their carts.
In order to glean insights on holiday shopping season this year, Business Insider partnered with global technology company Morning Consult to survey over 2,300 American adults about their retail preferences. Of those survey participants, 8% belonged to Gen Z, 28% were millennials, 26% were a part of Gen X, and 33% were boomers.
Business Insider and Morning Consult asked each respondent who they planned on shopping for the most this holiday season, and the numbers we gathered give some clear insights into concerns, preferences, and the general life stage of each large demographic bracket.
Among all generations, with the unsurprising exception of Gen Z, the largest group of shoppers plan to spend the most on stuff for their kids this holiday season. Merchandise-wise, Gen X appeared to be the most doting parents, with 52% saying they planned to spend the most on their children. Boomers and millennials trailed a bit behind, at 42.7% and 42.5% respectively.
Only 9.6% of Gen Z respondents planned spend the most on their kids. Given that the age bracket features people between the ages of 18 and 22, it's likely that a large chunk of those respondents simply haven't started a family just yet.
On the flip side, nearly a quarter of Gen Zers participating in the survey said they'd spend the most on their parents. Just 12% of millennials said the same thing, while only 6% of Gen X said they'd be shopping most for mom and dad. When it comes to the boomers, people aged between 55 and 73, the low percentage of 1.8% likely reflects the sad reality that many of their parents simply aren't around anymore.
Gen Z also appears to be the generation with the best lock on the "treat yourself" mentality. This year, 21.9% of Gen Z participants plan to splurge the most for themselves during the holiday shopping season. Of our respondents, a total of 6.4% of Gen X, 5.9% of millennials, and 5.1% of boomers will follow suit for some much-needed retail therapy.
Boomers did appear to be the most romantic generation when it comes to marital wooing, with 19.1% of respondents saying that they planned to shop the most for their spouse. Millennials and members of Gen X followed closely behind at 16.6% and 15%, respectively.
Only 7.5% of Gen Z participants said they'd be looking to buy things for their significant other, another clear sign that much of the generation hasn't reached that life stage yet. Instead, they'll be spending that money on their siblings, with 15.1% of participants asying they'd be spending the most on their brothers and sisters. When it comes to sibling groups, 5.6% of millennials will keep them on top of mind this holiday shopping season, along with 3.4% of Gen X, and 4.7% of boomers.
Out of everyone, cousins and coworkers seem to be getting the short shrift from all the generations.
A total of 1.4% of Gen Z respondents left room for their cousins on top of their shopping lists. That's more than the rest of the generations combined, as only 0.3% and 0.5% of millennials and boomers agreed. Gen X is presumably saving its gifts for the family reunion.
No Gen Z or millennial respondents said they planned to shop for their colleagues, while only 0.2% of Gen X and 0.1% of boomers saying they planned on playing office Santa.