Half of Boomerangers Say I Want it Now

According to a new study by Luminosity Marketing, almost 2/3 of Boomerang consumers make independent decisions about their needs, but are more conservative about influencing "the folks." In addition, the findings show that 56% buy on impulse, or planned to get it "today." Boomerangers are college graduates, between the ages of 22 and 29 who are single, have full-time jobs and live at home with their parents.

The Boomerang Generation is a subset of the Millennial Generation, sometimes known as Gen Y. This Boomerang segment has become more prevalent recently given changing economic conditions, the growth in multi-generational households and evolving relationship dynamics between today's young adults and their parents. 13% of parents with grown children say that at least one child has moved back home in the past year

Highlights include:

  • Boomerangers are more independent than previously expected
  • For most everyday items, and even identity purchases, Boomerangers are more value conscious than brand-centric

The Boomerang Consumer Study is valuable reading for youth marketers or followers of youth trends. Marketing Charts presented some of the more telling data as shown here, showing that more than half of Boomerangers make purchases with minimal planning.

34% of Boomerangers, or college-educated young adults with full-time jobs who have returned home to live with their parents, say they make impulse purchases. And, data from the study indicates that a little more than 20% of Boomerangers say they make purchases after thinking about it that day. Consequently, more than half of Boomerangers will make a purchase either on impulse or with minimal planning.

Close to 25% say they will make a purchase after planning for a week. Interestingly, the rate of Boomerangers who say they will make a purchase after planning for more than two weeks (15%) is almost three times as high as the rate who will make a purchase after two weeks of planning (a little more than 5%).

Boomeranger's Purchase Contemplation Habits

Time Planning Purchase

% of Respondents

No planning/impulse buy




Within previous week


Within previous two weeks


More than two weeks


Source: Luminosity Marketing, February 2011

When asked what influenced a specific purchase they made, 64% of Boomerangers said themselves. The next-most-popular influencer, family, was mentioned by slightly less than 20% of Boomerangers. Outside of themselves and relatives, Boomerangers were most likely to cite friends as an influencer. Significant others and co-workers were both only mentioned by less than 10% of respondents.

Boomerangers Purchasing Influences (% of Respondents, Rounded)


% of Respondents







Significant other




Source: Luminosity Marketing, February 2011

Clothing and identity items exhibit distinct qualities in the purchasing cycle for Boomerangers, according to the study analysis. They are equally likely to make impulse purchases as they are to plan for one week or more before buying them.

These items also show a unique quality in the post purchase stage. The purchase does not seem to be officially complete until after the purchaser is able to show off the item at home. This behavior suggests that the packaging, shopping bags and other item wrappings may hold more weight in the shopping experience than in other categories.

Little luxuries and impulse items have very short purchasing cycles which usually happen within a span of a few minutes and boil down to seeing an item, purchasing it, consuming it, and forgetting about it.

Boomerangers are more likely to buy branded items in categories such as toiletries, medical, household items and groceries, if they fill a specific than to purchase branded items in many of the categories that would be expected, such as apparel and accessories.

Boomerangers have a large degree of influence on many purchase decisions, both for personal purchases and for household purchases, according to data from part 1 of the study, says Marketing Charts:

  • 40% of Boomerangers make an independent decision about home furnishings for their bedroom
  • 40% make household decisions about home furnishings for their bedroom
  • Slightly more than 40% make independent decisions about health insurance
  • 35% make household health insurance decisions

Other areas where Boomerangers hold sway over purchase decisions include car/transportation (almost 40% independent, about 35% household), cell phone (about 25% for both independent and household), and toiletries (about 22% independent and 25% household).

In the categories of internet, groceries and cable/satellite TV, a relatively low percentage of Boomerangers make independent decisions. The highest levels of parental decision-making occur in the areas of yard maintenance, utilities, home improvement, home furnishings for common areas, and home repair.

For additional  information from Luminosity Marketing, please visit here.


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