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Generational Differences


Today, millennials are ages 18 to 35 while Generation Xers are 36 to 51. Baby boomers are 52 to 70 and the Silent Generation includes anyone who is 71 and older.

Consumer Characteristics:

As of 2021, baby boomers range in age from 57 to 75. They have some distinctive characteristics when it comes to consumer behaviors. For example, they prefer buying products in-store rather than online and place importance on the quality of interactions with brands and their employees, both in-store and online. They also value trusted recommendations and reviews when making purchase decisions. Baby boomers and the Silent Generation aren’t as pressed for time as their younger counterparts, but they are focused on value for their money and product quality. These groups also prioritize products that are reliable, fairly priced, and budget-friendly.

In 2021, millennials range in age from 40 to 25. They also have some distinctive characteristics that set them apart from other generations. In general, their key consumer behaviors are being more diversified in the shopping channels they use (desktop, mobile, online, in-store) and are more receptive to social media and word-of-mouth marketing. However, they are also less likely to stay loyal to a particular brand, instead preferring to shop around if better options are available. Millennials also enjoy shopping and see it as more of a social activity than earlier generations.

But both Gen Xers and millennials are pressed for time (they’re at the peak of their careers and many have young families), so speedy shopping is key. Both groups said that a fast checkout experience is an important factor in their purchase decision, so consider strategies to increase impulse purchases.

Spending Habits:

Millennials' fondness towards spending on gadgets, entertainment, food, vacation, apparel, accessories, etc. is something that the older generations don’t understand. Millennials save less and spend more, and this is leading the economy towards being consumption-driven than savings-driven. The savings of millennials for the future is sometimes less than 10% of their paycheck. And most of the time, they end up living paycheck to paycheck. One reason that increases the spending of millennials is their ease of borrowing of not just loans but also through credit cards and EMI facilities available on almost everything. This ease of financing might only lead them into a debt trap. These spending habits can be a bane for this generation.

On the other hand, Gen X is all about saving every rupee. They sacrifice most of their wants in life to save up for their long-term goals. They prefer not to live paycheck to paycheck. Millennials, on the other hand, don’t always sacrifice their wants. They believe in the concept of YOLO (You Only Live Once). Hence it’s difficult for Gen X to understand why millennials can’t save.

Written by Anna Li

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