The 'Ouch' Economy: Most Age Groups Are Cutting Back On Spending

Email teams seeking to segment by age should pay special attention to the millennial and Gen X cohorts — the ones now at the peak of their careers. 

They are worried. Among millennials, 73% think we are headed for a recession, or already in one, according to Generational Trends in Consumer Behavior, a study by Jungle Scout.  

And those groups are most likely to be cutting back on purchases.  

For instance, 43% of millennials and 56% of Gen X are reducing their fun and impulse purchases, versus 37% of Gen Z consumers. Of course, baby boomers are the most cautious — 59% are doing the same. 

It’s the same with dining out — 64% of Gen X are pulling back on that, along with 68% of boomers. So are 48% of millennials — but only 43% of Gen Z.  

Gen Z is least likely to be lowering their spending on leisure travel and in-person entertainment.  



What are consumers’ strategies when they do buy? 

Again, 60% of Gen Xers and 73% of boomers are conservative, buying items on sale. Only 42% of millennials and 41% are of Gen Z are following suit.  

Gen Z is especially fond of purchasing pre-owned items — 42% have done so in the past year, compared to 39% of millennials, 31% of Gen X and 19% of boomers. 

The Gen Z group is also the most active in shopping online: 32% shop once a day or more often, while 74% shop once per week or more.  

In contrast, 25% buy at least once a day and 69% once per week. Gen X is less active — 15% purchase once a day, and 49% shop once a week. 

And boomers? Only 7% buy daily, and 39% weekly. 

Facebook is the leading social platform for purchases, with 49% overall saying they having utilized it.

But Gen Z is most likely to use Instagram — 71% say they do, followed by YouTube (68%) and Tik Tok (68%). Overall, 46% shop on YouTube and 40% on Instagram.  

Jungle Scout surveyed 1,000 U.S. consumers from February  8-9, 2023. 




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