Gen X does not like to be ignored. Described as both self-reliant and slackers, Gen X is the smallest generation when compared to Baby Boomers, Millennials, and Gen Z, but one with an outsized impact on the economy. 

Now aged between 41 and 56, Gen Xers are at the height of their earning potential. They stand to benefit the most from the greatest wealth transfer in history. Many Gen Xers can remember the conspicuous consumption of the late 1980s, and were adult participants in the tech boom and bust of the late 90s, and the financial crash of 2008. They are practical and value authenticity. Gen X was the first generation shaped by the rise of the personal computer and the internet. Many continue to be early adopters and use technology to get more done, assist with aging children and parents, and simplify their lives. Gen X grew up shopping in the mall, but nowadays could never live without their smartphones, the convenience of mobile shopping, and the power of user-generated content and product reviews. 

To effectively reach Gen X, marketers must be transparent and continuously deliver value. We’ve highlighted five findings from Marigold’s 2023 U.S. Gen X Consumer Trend Index on some of their preferences and purchasing habits.  

64% of Gen X consumers have made a purchase from an email in the last year.

Email is the single most common online purchase channel for Gen X consumers, outperforming SMS, banner advertisements, social media posts and social media advertisements, all by considerable margins. With the right tech stack, marketers can easily leverage email to provide the unique experiences and dynamic content that enhance customer-brand relationships.

65% of Gen X consumers have used their phone while in-store to research a potential purchase in the last year.

Similar to other age groups we studied, Gen Xers use their mobile phones to research products they are interested in while in the physical store. 

The 2023 study found that roughly half of Gen X consumers do more research (48%) and wait longer for sales (51%) before making purchases compared to other generations studied. They are a thoughtful consumer, not prone to impulse purchases like their younger counterparts. 

But the mobile experience needs to be easy. If an unknown shopper visits your website via their smartphone while in your actual store, that mobile experience must be seamless. Any lag in download times or navigation can lead to a bad user experience. This is bad for business. 

90% of Gen X consumers say that their favorite brand treats them like an individual.

The consumer desire for personalization crosses generations, and Gen Xers are no exception. They want their unique needs addressed and are more likely to choose brands that understand and cater to their individuality. By investing in genuine relationship building and personalization, marketers can rise above the generic strategies of their competitors. They can turn casual customers into loyal ones, and ultimately gain a competitive edge.

82% of Gen X consumers cite data privacy policies as either important or critically important to maintaining brand loyalty.

Most Gen Xers were adults with thriving social media and banking accounts by the time terms like identity theft and data breach became commonplace and deeply personal. Brands need to transparently communicate their policies on personal data, and respect the boundaries of Gen X consumers. In our full Gen X report, we unveil three particular marketing tactics that more than half of Gen Xers consider creepy and lead to a sense of distrust. 

57% of Gen X consumers are more likely to participate in a loyalty program this year compared to last.

Similar to Gen Z and Millennials, Gen X consumers are increasingly interested in participating in loyalty programs. Some of the valued perks are exclusive content and customized experiences and rewards. Creating a seamless and user-friendly digital experience for your loyalty program, such as with a mobile app or gamification elements, can further enhance their engagement and enthusiasm.

Gen Xers are loyal to brands they trust. Marketers who tap into this generation’s appreciation for both in–person and digital experiences that make life easier are the ones that stand to gain the most. Learn more about what Gen Xers want from the brands in their lives by reading the full report: Marigold’s 2023 U.S. Gen X Consumer Trend Index

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