Gen X Leads Mobile Adoption for Grocery Purchases

grocery, mobile commerce

Despite not being digital natives, Generation X is leading the way for mobile payments, surpassing the other generations in how often this method is used in grocery and non-grocery purchases.

More than 9% of U.S. Gen X members buy grocery items regularly through their mobile device, one-third more than millennials and triples the share of baby boomers and seniors, according to “Tracking The Digital Payments Takeover: Biometric Authentication in the Age of Mobile,” a PYMNTS Intelligence and Amazon Web Services collaboration.

Although millennials and Generation Z have more exposure to mobile usage, the responsibility for food shopping in households still falls on the previous generation. However, both millennials and Gen Z are omnichannel shoppers, with 72% having used a grocery store app in the past year to find the best deals. 

If Gen X makes more widespread use of mobile for daily purchases, such as groceries, millennials are at the forefront of mobile adoption for non-grocery categories. Nearly 15% of millennials shop from their phones, almost double that of boomers and seniors. 

Baby boomers are much more likely to know exactly what they want to order and stick to a list, while millennials and Gen Z shoppers are more likely to make impulse purchases. Phone shopping drives this trend as it provides faster and more convenient access to shopping.

Other than groceries, millennials shop for clothing, consumer electronics, event tickets or personal accessories, and they do it more often through their phones. 

Gen X non-grocery shopping lags behind millennials, but still comes close, with 14.4% of them shopping on their phones. In comparison, baby boomers and seniors tend to plan their purchases ahead of time and where to shop, while millennials and Gen Z simply make the purchase regardless of location or medium. The younger generations are more accustomed to multichannel options, and in this, mobile phones play a crucial role.

demographics, mobile purchases, retail, grocery 

Moreover, Gen Z members are the most open to trying new payment methods, PYMNTS Intelligence found, with 51% saying mobile wallets could mostly replace physical ones, a trend that might drive further adoption in this generation. 

Whether its millennials, Gen Z, or Gen X, all three generations show a higher adoption of mobile payments than older consumers while also following distinct consumption patterns. These trends highlight the need for merchants to offer a variety of payment options to satisfy different consumer preferences.