Where The Buys Are — Shopping by the Affluent Generations

This Insights brief continues our focus on the three primary affluent generations — those adults (age 18+) living in households whose household incomes begin at $75,000 (the top 34 percent of all U.S. households) and range up to $500,000 or more — this time by looking at differences in how the affluent generations shop.

Insights Overview:

When researching their planned purchases, affluent shoppers prefer to go online (84%) rather than doing it in person at a store. For actual buying, though, almost half (42%) choose the brick-and-mortar route. Why? Seeing and touching score highly as the main attractions for shopping in person, especially for Boomers as compared with Millennials and Gen-Xers. However, that preference is far outweighed by “convenience” for affluents buying online, with the majority of affluents citing that benefit, as well as “free shipping”, “better price”, and “better selection”.

Overall, the “one size does not fit all” concept applies yet again, as Millennials, Gen-Xers, and Boomers widely differ in their approaches to researching and buying products and services, and that is a truism that everyone who markets to affluent consumers should understand.

However, the generations largely agree in their choices of the “Top Twenty-Five Stores Where Affluents Shop” (out of the 127 stores measured in the 2014 Pulse). Notably, Amazon continues to rule the roost. Filling out the top three slots are Walmart and Target. The remaining stores in the top twenty-five are a mix of mass-market, omnichannel retailers and online stores, and only two upscale stores.

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