New York, NY—5WPR has released its 2020 Consumer Culture Report, bringing insight into the modern consumer’s motivations, influences, and purchasing habits, along with advice for leveraging this data to best attract and keep customers of all generations.

The top finding: Millennials battle temptation all day long, thanks to targeted advertising they see nearly every moment they’re online. 82% of them agreed with the statement “I will buy a product the first time I see it if I like it enough”; 64% of Millennials “often make impulse purchases”; and 70% of them “sometimes regret purchases.” Older generations don’t agree quite so much with these statements.

Image courtesy of 5WPR.

But that isn’t to say that Millennials purchase everything they want, as soon as they want it—they’re no strangers to delayed gratification. 90% of them—more than older generations—agreed that, for items they really want, they watch carefully for sales prior to purchase; they’ll visit an item on their wish lists multiple times before buying it; and 84% of them—again, more than older generations—agreed that their favorite purchases are ones they’ve saved for.

Image courtesy of 5WPR.

So what makes a good product? One that people get a lot of use out of—and that holds for all age groups surveyed. 96% of adults aged 18-34, 94% of adults aged 35-54, and 96% of adults aged 55+ agreed with the statement “getting a lot of use out of a purchase makes me feel like I made a good decision.”
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Another finding: For all age groups surveyed, Travel/Experiences and Dining Out were two of the top three categories consumers are likely to splurge on. The categories consumers want to save on, though, varies—for those aged 18-34, the top “save” category was health/wellness, and the third was beauty/cosmetics; for those aged 35-54, home goods/furniture and shoes/accessories made the top three; and for those 55+, personal care and beauty/cosmetics were both top areas in which to save money.

A third finding: People don’t just discover new products via social media—in fact, social media isn’t even the most influential place of product discovery. Word of mouth reigns supreme; online customer reviews comes in second; online ads are third; articles/blogs on news sites come in fourth; and sliding into fifth place, Instagram gets 72% of those aged 18-34, 41% of those aged 35-55, and 9% of those aged 55+. Some fun facts: 68% of Millennials prefer finding new products in store to finding them online, and 83% of Millennials say it’s important for the companies they buy from to align with their beliefs and values. This is great news for the natural products industry—brick-and-mortar natural foods stores have a unique connection to values like sustainability, community, fair trade, and more, and many retailers in the industry have charity programs, as do the brands they carry.

5WPR put together a list of takeaways that can be pulled from the data. To quote a few:
  • Showcase customer reviews that talk about how much use they got out of the item.
  • Allow opportunities for discovery, sharing, and conversation.
  • Know your customer—what do they think, feel, and believe, and how can your brand purpose motivate them to engage with you?
  • Stories about a product in the news, magazine, or newspaper still remain the most impactful in making purchase decisions when compared to traditional advertising.
  • Don’t forget about retail, as brick-and-mortar still has a role to play in the purchase funnel.
The entire report is free, and available for downloadhere.