Generation X vs. Generation Y - A decade of online shopping

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Basing on the large scale annual social surveys in Israel, the current study uses Generational Cohort Theory as a framework to examine the trends of internet adoption and online purchasing behavior among Generation X and Generation Y in the past decade. During the decade, the rate of internet access and online purchasing increased continuously in both generations, however internet users did not fully utilize the potential of online shopping. Our findings support the use of Generational Cohort Theory as a market segmentation tool: although the rate of internet access was higher in Generation Y, the percentage of those who bought electrical appliances, furniture or vacations online was higher in Generation X. Although Generation Y with its hedonism, extravagance and great connectivity is considered to be a more attractive target population for businesses, it is important to direct marketing efforts toward Generation X, which according to the literature buys more due to higher disposable income, and more free time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)304-312
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Retailing and Consumer Services
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2016


  • Digital divide
  • Generation X
  • Generation Y
  • Online shopping
  • Repeated cross-sectional study


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