‘Generation X’ is a term which is predominantly used to describe those aged between 36-51. In the broadest of definitions, it’s those individuals born between the mid 1960’s and early 1980’s. Sandwiched between two of the most documented generations (Millennials and Baby Boomers), those in Generation X are primarily in their 40’s.

With a ton of responsibilities and stress to handle, it’s a generation which appreciates the convenience that technology has facilitated them – none more so than online shopping. With the shopping habits of Baby Boomers and Millennials widely publicised, OnBuy.com decided to put the spotlight on Generation X as online consumers. To achieve this, they analysed findings from auditing giants KPMG to understand the behaviours and attitudes of Generation X towards online shopping.

The research fascinatingly reveals 56 per cent of Generation X research online for reviews and recommendations before committing to an online purchase. The next biggest avenue for Generation X to research online purchases was the actual retailer’s website they intended to purchase from at 48 per cent. The report also considers the top attributes which drive loyalty amongst Generation X.

Sixty- six per cent of Generation X citied ‘excellent customer support’ as the largest factor facilitating their loyalty towards a certain retailer. Following this, loyalty for those who are part of Generation X came from ‘exclusive offers for members (47 per cent)’ and ‘loyalty programmes (39 per cent)’. With Generation X increasingly developing an appetite to become more connected and share their experiences – leaving feedback is increasingly becoming a part of their DNA.

Per the report, 49 per cent of Generation X’s preference is to leave feedback directly on the website of the retailer they purchased from. Following direct feedback, Generation X consumers would leave feedback via Facebook at 29 per cent.

Craig (42) from Leicester says, ‘Growing up in a world where the internet was only at its inception, I would have never predicted the endless possibilities it now provides. It has completely transformed my life in terms of convenience. With work and kids occupying a lot of my time, I really like online shopping. I can browse products online and order at the click of a button. It brilliant, as I don’t even have to queue or waste money on parking, like you do with in-store shopping.’

Lilly Jones a retail analyst from London comments, ‘I often label Generation X the ‘lost generation’. Unfortunately for them, they are slotted in-between two generations which are talked about more – the millennials and baby boomers. A lot of retailers have spent a considerable amount of time and resources to understand the behaviours and preferences of these two generations; whilst leaving Generation X behind as a significant consumer group. Retailers must make an active effort to understand the needs of Generation X, as they will continually drive online sales for the foreseeable future.’

Further reading on Generation X