Earlier this month, Commonwealth Bank in conjunction with the University of Canberra launched Viewpoint - a report on the economic vitality of Australia. The report found that Gen Ys' spending habits were surprisingly resilient to the Global Financial Crisis - “Gen Y’s spending increased 6.2 per cent in 2009, despite earnings growing only 2.5 per cent and job losses in the age group rising 13.6 per cent.”
This insight corresponds broadly to a finding from our recent study on the “New vs. Returning” visitors to Shopping and Classifieds – Appliances and Electronics websites in the lead up to Christmas last year. Interestingly, 18-24 year olds were 44% more likely than the online average to be returning visitors to Appliances and Electronics websites in November 2009. Even though Gen Ys were amongst the hardest hit group by economic pressures, they were still the most engaged online researchers in one of the most popular online retail categories last year.
In comparison, users over 55 were the least likely to return to Appliances and Electronics websites. Given that 55+ users have high purchasing power, and are becoming a larger segment with Australia’s ageing population, retailers should be stepping up their efforts to market to this group and create compelling content that invites repeat visits.
We also looked at the broader Lifestyle Mosaic Groups and found that “Learners and Earners (students) and “Pushing the Boundaries” (young families) were the two household groups most likely to have repeat visits to Appliances and Electronics sites in November 2009. The strength of repeat visits by young families, in addition to students, suggests that households with tight disposable incomes may also be engaging in higher than usual comparison shopping activity.