Generation X

35-50 year olds, independent minded, research driven shoppers

These shoppers understand marketing and media better than the generation before. They prefer to research instead of asking friends, and take pride in their individuality and start families later. Gen Xers are early adopters and are rarely brand loyal. Discounts are checked by 48% of Gen Xers and 64% will search out product reviews before buying.

Gen Xer: Jennifer Vincent
Location: Penticton, BC
Age: 37
Status: Married, homeowner with one child
Combined household income: 75,000 - 100,000/year

Jennifer Vincent knows the value of time and is a master researcher. “I am a busy mom, I run a business, and a household. I have limited time to shop.” Vincent researches items and services she deems important for her lifestyle. “I have a diaper service and I did quite a bit of research on who to use.  When we bought our espresso machine, I researched it for four weeks. I read a series of online reviews, magazine reviews, consumer reviews and I checked locally. No one was selling what I wanted, so I ended up buying online from Ontario.”

She also loves a bargain. “Since having the baby I have paid more attention to sale prices and find myself price checking more.  It has been interesting to me to see that change. Most of the baby equipment I bought was sourced second hand or handed on to us by people whose buying choices I respected. I knew that I wanted a vintage pram and we bought one online. Very little of the baby equipment I have is new.  It makes me happy as a consumer as I am aware of my footprint for some things she will only use for three to six months. Then I can pass them along.”Shopping-Through-The-Ages-Okanagan-Life-Magazine-Feature-4

Although not brand loyal, buying local is important to Vincent. “We bought all our household furnishings locally. There was enough of a selection to make us happy. We wanted something BC made and waited until they went on sale to buy them. We were happy to pay a higher price for a high quality, locally made product. I also love shopping for books locally. I love the smell of bookstores.”

When it comes to entertainment purchases, Vincent goes online. “I have a large collection of music I digitized and for new music we just stream it from a subscription service or online radio. We also get movies online.”

Her Gen X independence shines through when it comes to essentials like groceries. “We source them locally at farmers markets, or we trade with neighbours. We have backyard chickens, bees, peaches, plums, tomatoes, kale, squash and apricots to trade.”

48% check on discounts and on sale items.

Millennials or Generation Y

20 - 34 year olds bargain hunters with an eye for quality

Surprisingly similar to the Silents, Millennials prefer cash over credit and are, for the most part, financially conservative. They are a larger generation than the Boomers and like them; they love coupons, shop online and seek out bargains. Over 50% will check for a discount and 69% read product reviews before buying. They are also the highest group of impulse buyers at 53%.

Shopping-Through-The-Ages-Okanagan-Life-Magazine-Feature-5Millennial: Mykha Wetjen
Location: Vernon, BC
Age: 21
Status: Single, renter
Yearly Income: 15,000 to 25,000

When it comes to larger purchases, Wetjen is a bargain hunter. “I go to the stores and look at the descriptors on the product. Like for a TV I just take how many pixels, size, warranty etc., I find that out in the store.”

Unlike the majority of her generation Wetjen doesn’t usually price check. “I prefer to shop at stores that have most of what I need, like big box drug stores that have electronics, furniture, post office, small appliances etc. For groceries I shop at larger stores. I can’t afford to shop at boutique/organic places for food and I’ve never been to a farmers market.” Wetjen prefers quality over brand names if it appears to be the same quality.

She does not ask for price matching. “Because I’ve worked retail I don’t ask for price matches when I shop. It’s a lot of work for the staff for a usually a very small savings. I would ask for a discount if the product I wanted was slightly damaged or used like clothing or floor models of electronics and appliances.”

Like the majority of her generation she does read products reviews before purchasing. “It’s also part of my job to know which products perform better as I work in a hardware/all purpose store.”

Wetjen is a bit of an anomaly in that she rarely purchases anything, including music, online and she seldom buys anything on impulse.

69% will read product reviews before buying

53% impulse buys

Generation Z

Up to 19 year old. Educated entrepreneurs who hope to change the world

They may be young but they have big dreams. They spend more money on food and drink than any other generation. They value quality over brand names and want items that fit their specific needs. 60% want cool products, 40% are looking for cool experiences. They also don’t hate ads, in fact 55% will watch an ad if it is humorous, 45% if it has good music. The most commonly purchase device is a mobile phone.

Gen Zer: Bradyn Krauza
Location: Kelowna, BC
Age: 19
Status: Single, lives with parents
Yearly Income: $15,000 to $25,000

Bradyn Krauza knows what he likes when he sees it. “I shop mostly at one store and if I like it I buy it no matter what the price. I like simple clothes and the brands that I shop for are simple, and comfortable.”

Krauza doesn’t shop much online. “I only spend about $100 a year online - maybe less. I don’t like to wait to get the stuff. When it comes to gaming, I still buy them from the store because I don’t like to wait. Music is about all I buy online. I just get it from iTunes and download it.”

As for cell phones, he just recently purchased one. “I went and got my own account started. I decided to go with the company that had a large data plan. I got limited calling, unlimited texting and lots of data. It’s what I needed and they gave me what I wanted.”Shopping-Through-The-Ages-Okanagan-Life-Magazine-Feature

As a musician, Krauza goes more for quality than brand names. “I’m a drummer and I like my sticks to be black - it doesn’t matter where I buy them as long as they are black. I set up my kit how I like it so it is unique to myself, I just added on to a basic kit. I buy drums for their sound and quality, not for their name.”

When it comes to big purchases, Krauza said he is saving up for a car. “I usually just consider someone else’s opinion and if it’s a hard decision then I’d ask my parents opinion and then I’d decide for myself.”

Like most of his generation, Krauza eats out quite often. “I prefer going to restaurants instead of fast food outlets and as long as the food is good I don’t care where I eat.”

55% will watch an ad if it is humorous

45% will watch an ad if it has good music

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