Finally, the Gen X demographic is giving businesses something to smile about. That’s because they are now spending substantially more on luxury purchases than their Baby Boomer counterparts.
This follows the results of the Second Annual American Express Platinum Luxury Survey which revealed that Gen X women are outspending Boomers by roughly 18% in multiple luxury categories, in excess of US$4,000 for households included in the survey.
This isn’t surprising, as Gen X is reaching the peak of their professional lives. Aged between 35 and 46 today, many are out-earning Boomers, the older generation which is retiring at a rate of roughly 10,000 per day.
What is important is that this is the very first “wired” generation to really experience the Internet as part of every day life. Consequently, they habitually research items online prior to purchase.
According to the Amex survey, Gen Xers with a household income of US$213,000 or more are spending over US$3,000 annually on fragrance, cosmetics and beauty products, over US$6,000 on fashion accessories, over US$23,000 on clothes and nearly US$4,000 on alcohol. They’re also spending more in entertainment, personal and health services.
However, Gen X women are also very prudent in their purchasing habits, willing to pay more for superior quality, but they won’t overpay for it. (See last month’s blog: Are you giving her VFM?)
Neither are the Gen X audience swayed by hype or trends and the advice to companies trying to reach this woman is to keep it real. If you’re trying too hard to be cool, they will catch on quickly (and tell all their friends).
With the vast majority of Gen X online (86%, per Pew’s Generations 2011 report), there are clear opportunities to find them. For example, with so many Gen Xers researching purchases in advance, you want to be highly visible along their path to purchase.
And because they have been online for so long and have made so many purchases they have been well researched by audience targeting platforms. Customer segments among Gen X are deep and detailed. Within your ad strategy consider that simply being “affluent” might not be enough. There are affluent Gen X customers who have recently travelled, or recently retired, for example.
One way to reach this woman is to offer discounts or coupons where possible, while extolling the high quality of your product or service. Remember – Gen X loves superior quality, but they also love a great deal.
Just with any strategy to reach women, it’s important to provide communication at every stage of the purchase cycle. This skeptical bunch needs assurance that your product is real, high quality, and that you stand behind it. A sensible return policy and a money-back guarantee is also attractive to them.
Finally, on a positive note, when you please the Gen X shopper, they’re the most likely of all generations to write a review and share their love of your product or service (or your great offer) with friends. That’s a great way to win with a brand-loyal demographic.