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Who to Watch Today

In the first installment of our new Consumer Snapshot section, we break down what you need to know about Gen Z, Millennials and Baby Boomers.

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Welcome to Consumer Snapshot, where we dissect generational behaviors to help you sell your products and services more effectively. As a primer to what we’ll be covering in this department, we’ve defined three generations that we feel are important to today’s home decor landscape and highlighted some key facts you need to know. 

Gen Z

Digital natives, entrepreneurial, accepting

Born right after Millennials between the late 90s and mid 2010s, so they range in age from early 20s to early school-age. 

Own: Similar to Millennials, Gen Z owns less and rents more.
Spend: This generation already commands an estimated $44 billion in buying power. Similar to Millennials, they prefer to shop in stores (81 percent) but they will do heavy online research beforehand — 46 percent use their mobile device to scope out a product prior to purchase.
Love: Products over experiences. 60 percent prefer a cool product over a cool experience.
Think: They value privacy. Unlike Millennials, they’re less likely to share every moment of their lives for public record on platforms like Facebook. 
Tech: Favorite social media channel? YouTube, followed by Snapchat. It’s also estimated that 96-98 percent of Gen Zers own a smartphone.


Tech-savvy, connected, self-aware

Born between the early 80s and late 90s, so they range in age between early 20s and mid 30s.

Think: They value purpose over money: 64 percent of Millennials would rather make $40,000 a year at a job they love than $100,000 a year at a boring job.
Love: Experiences over stuff: 78 percent would rather spend money on an experience or event than on a material good. 
Spend: They may love online shopping, but 82 percent prefer the brick-and-mortar experience. 
Go: 33 percent would put off buying a home to take a dream vacation — especially international.
Own: Homeownership among adults 35 and under is at a 30-year low of 34 percent. Millennials are less concerned about major purchases on things like cars, houses, music or luxury goods — services like Airbnb, Uber and Zipcar demonstrate the “sharing economy” trend.
Tech: Favorite social media channel? Facebook, followed by Instagram. An estimated 86 percent of people aged 18-29 have smartphones.

Baby Boomers

Work first, resourceful, disciplined 

Born between 1946 and 1964, so they range in age from mid 50s to early 70s.

Own: When it comes to home ownership, some Boomers are choosing to downsize in retirement to lower costs, while others are choosing to stay in their homes and make the necessary adjustments to allow that to happen.
Spend: In the first quarter of 2017, Americans 55 and older accounted for 41.6 percent of consumer spending but make up about 23 percent of the population. While many of them are still working out of financial necessity, many also have high disposable income.
Tech: Facebook is by far the most popular social media platform for Baby Boomers. About 60 percent of Baby Boomers own a smartphone.
Go: Most all Boomers reported to AARP that they would take a leisure trip in 2017, but they were more likely to travel domestically over internationally (51 versus 43 percent).



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