Consumer Insights: Get to know Gen X

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Consumer Insights: Get to know Gen X

Generation X make up a large proportion of the purchasing power in the UK, which makes them prime to buy. This blog offers a snippet of the insights included in Reapit’s newly released report on the Consumer (R)evolution: how to attract, engage and retain the 2021 consumer

What do they value most?

Gen Xers have been accustomed to caring for themselves since before reaching adulthood and are generally regarded as individualistic, self-sufficient, and resourceful. They value freedom and responsibility, and this translates to their purchasing habits as well.

How has their behaviour changed when buying a product or service?

Gen X have the highest disposable income among all of the generations in the UK. Gen X buyers are considered a complex group though: they tend to be cautious and deliberate when making choices, and when it comes to high-value property decisions they are not likely to make serious mistakes. Gen X buyers understand the value of a home, and like Baby Boomers they have traditional views on property and don’t want to overspend.

For modern marketers, however, the consumer insights firm GWI considers 2020 to be “generation-defining” for Gen X (and Baby Boomers) in a way that has been much more impactful compared to Millennials and Gen Z, as from a digital standpoint barely any part of their online lives has been left untouched by the pandemic, to the extent where distinctions between “young” and “old” from a digital standpoint have taken a big step toward becoming less relevant.

How Gen Xers approach a property purchase

Gen X is one of the smaller consumer cohorts, but they make up a large proportion of the purchasing power in the UK. According to a survey conducted by TD Bank, Gen X home buyers are looking for freedom from their mortgages and would prefer to minimise the impact that property loans have on their lifestyles.

Location of a property and good community links are important for this generation. Many Gen Xers also have children of school age which means that a proximity to well rated schools nearby is a top priority for these buyers.

Gen Xers do however face a significant debt issue that may impact their high-value, high-risk purchasing habits, having joined the job market too late to benefit from final salary pension schemes, and too early to benefit from auto enrolment into a workplace pension. A report from the International Longevity Centre UK found that 57% want to save more for retirement but are struggling to do so because of other financial priorities such as housing costs (including mortgages and rent).

With the average age of first-time buyers increasing, awareness and accessibility of financing opportunities such as the Help to Buy: Equity Loan will factor into their purchasing decision making.

Interested in more insights on how consumers have changed? Download your free copy of Reapit’s report on the Consumer (R)evolution: how to attract, engage and retain the 2021 consumer.

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