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Thrifty Generation X shoppers

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Tuesday November 11, 2008 )

Now we’re talkin’ bout my generation (apologies to The Who); those people born between 1965 – 1981. We’re up to our eyeballs in debt it seems, so we’re looking for a bargain.

Thriftiness is an admirable trait (terrible for marketers); but it appears that we’re getting this way due to other excesses. To live the dream, you have to have a nice car, a nice home – and none of these things can be bought for cash these days – for most of us anyway. Then there’s the kids, etc. etc. etc. Most of us have accumlated a fair amount of debt to achieve these norms.

According to this article on Emarketer, now we’ve hit the credit redlines we’re looking for bargains – we have the technology the experience and the tools to seek these out, whether they are locally or across the world; courtesy of the Internet. I remember needing to buy some bits a while back and it was far cheaper for me to have them sent from the USA than to buy locally.

It seems that Generation X’ers are now also suspicious of the corporate machine – and really, who can blame us – so we’re not as loyal to brands as we once were. A recent example that springs to mind was a local company that produced top quality work boots; so good, I was prepared to spend extra bucks on them. They shifted their operations overseas rather quietly. That didn’t bother me, but they were charging the same, so I simply chose a cheaper brand. I’m an example of Generation X Brand Loyalty Fickleness. The boots have lasted well, so I’ll stick with them.. for now.

While the Emarketer reports tends to allude to cost being everything and while it is important to we X-ers, we are also somewhat sick of shoddy goods regardless of what we pay. So if you’ve got a higher price tag, that doesn’t get you out of the game; you simply need to justify it – big time and fast; even more so now during these shakey financial times.

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