2021 holiday shopping — by gen X, Y, and Z.

2021 holiday shopping — by gen X, Y, and Z.


It’s October. 

Outside, the air takes on a chill. Leaves begin to fall — and that’s your signal, it’s time to prepare for the holidays. Take a breath, you’re about to be in the thick of it.

All the hustle and bustle.

Like the extremely long lines in stores … sigh, I hate those.

Which is why, I was curious how this year would be, given that COVID changed so many buyer behaviors last season. I wanted to know:

  • Will people still shop online more?
  • Would they embrace going back to the store? 
  • Is getting your groceries delivered still a thing?

Here’s what I found.

First up, the Gen Zers.

You saw the male Gen Zers in stores last week.

Now, more Gen Zers are headed in for the holidays. As the older sister of a Gen Zer myself, I can confirm she wants all things pumpkin spice.

All things.

Pumpkin bread, muffins, spread, bisque, creamer, you name it. 

She wants it. And as Trader Joe’s is the King of all seasonal things — it made me wonder. Is that why Trader Joe’s is trending as the #1 grocery store for Gen Z?

I mean, it makes sense.

Seeing how Trader Joe’s saw a 35% spike in Gen Z visits this month. Meanwhile Amazon, Instacart, and Target apps all trended down. Keep in mind, Gen Z has a smaller wallet than Millennials and Gen Xers. So, TJs’ low prices may be appealing. 

There’s more.

Trader Joe’s is already popular with younger generations. This from a brand with no app, and almost no advertising. Their efforts are almost entirely word of mouth, with people sharing what they find on social media. Proof that WOM is still #1

Bravo, Trader Joe’s.

Ok, millennials, you’re up.

Hello, hybrid shoppers.

Millennials are still using Instacart and other grocery apps. But, if you look closely, they’re trending down, while in-store is on the rise.

Millennials in-store vs apps

Now, Target app use is a bit of an exception here. Still popular among millennials in the month of September. 

But, why?

Maybe they’re using the app to read reviews before going into the actual store. Or, they like shopping from the palm of their hands. Either way, there’s more to see here.

Like Food 4 Less.

It’s the #1 trending grocery store for Millennials right now. This makes sense, given the recent popularity of dollar stores. Food 4 Less is a clear discount provider. So, it indicates Millennials may be looking for more budget-friendly options. 

After all, many Millennials want to buy a home in the next couple of years.1

Your turn, Gen Xers.

Here are your fans of online shopping.

Target is up 38%, Instacart 29%, Amazon 10%, and Sam’s Club 3%.

Gen X in-store vs apps


It does leave a question though. Why? We’ve already shown Gen Xers love technology, but you may still want to know more about what’s driving their behavior. 

You’re in good hands. 

It may be that COVID is stopping them from going to the store.

Or, they simply love the convenience of getting their items delivered. I know I do. It could also offer more time to spend with friends and family, or to sit back and relax.

Only one thing is certain. 

Consumers are constantly evolving, and their shopping trends are changing.

Keep up … use Persona Views™.

It’s 24/7 access to first-party data. So you can observe your target audience, analyze trends, and find out the “why” behind their behaviors through surveys.

Here’s the free 7-day trial to try for yourself.


  1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2021/06/01/how-millennials-are-changing-the-mortgage-and-home-buying-market/?sh=4c246fcb690b

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