Most of us have been brought up never to ask someone’s age. For many, it can be a sensitive topic – something almost taboo.

However, by understanding the age of your customers, you can start to adapt your business to how they shop and what they shop for – increasing their spend when coming through your doors or onto your website.

With that in mind, it’s time to understand who is doing the shopping.

Baby Boomers (born 1946 to 1964)

Born post World War II, Baby Boomers are one very important age group considering that together, they make up more than half of the population’s wealth. But in spite of their high disposable income, Baby Boomers are considered to be conservative with their spending.1


Over 28% of Baby Boomers are “cautious” when it comes to purchasing a new product and 31% prefer to do their own research about the product as it enters the market.1 That’s why word of mouth is an extremely important advertising tool for Baby Boomers. They tend to wait and hear what others have to say and recommend before they dip their hands into their pockets. But once they feel they’ve heard enough about the product to feel informed, their uptake is extremely fast, and tend to purchase earlier than other age demographics.

Across Australia, categories that garner the most attention from Baby Boomers are: automotive (57.7%); food and groceries (42.6%); mobile phones (35.2%); and travel (30.1%).1

Actions you can take to attract Baby Boomers

If the customers you’re targeting are Baby Boomers, consider focusing more of your advertising spend on TV and email. If TV advertising is outside your budget, 33% of Baby Boomers say that email marketing contributes to their purchasing decision.1


More than half of Baby Boomers rely on TV advertising and word of mouth to make purchase decisions1

Generation X (born 1965 to 1980)

Aged in their 40s and 50s, Gen X are still getting over the hangover of raising children, looking after their ageing Boomer parents and paying their mortgages. And with rising costs, they’re not only frustrated, but unable to throw their money around on nice-to-haves.2


Gen X are constantly seeking value-for-money products at ‘no-hassle’ stores such as Target, Big W and Aldi. They’re slowly becoming less loyal to brands because they don’t want to be stuck buying the same brands as their parents (Baby Boomers) once did.

When it comes to adopting new technologies, Gen X are as fast on the uptake as Gen Y and Z with 87% of them using Facebook, making it an important platform for businesses to advertise on.3

Actions you can take to attract Gen X

Advertising on social media is a valuable place to reach Gen X. But it’s also worth considering a loyalty program or membership that earns them rewards, which helps create and maintain a longer-lasting bond.


Instagram is the third most popular choice for Gen X, with only 40% of this group using the social platform.3

Generation Y (born 1981 to 1997)

Also referred to as Millennials, Gen Y is the largest generation with over 5.22 million Australians. Their faster adoption of new technologies compared to Baby Boomers and Gen X means it’s important for businesses who are targeting them to have a strong social media presence.


Gen Y have grown up with social media and spend around 8 hours a day online.4 They’re scouring posts from friends, brands, and social media ‘influencers’ about what to buy next. But they’re not just the ones being advertised to on social media platforms. They’re also the ones doing a lot of the advertising, and for one good reason – they love to share everything.

Gen Y like to post about the clothes they’re wearing, the food they’re eating, destinations they’re visiting – but most importantly, what brands are playing their part with helping the environment.5

Actions you can take to attract Gen Y

If you have a business or product you think is worth sharing with Gen Y, then think about putting some focus into how you come across on social media and how ‘shareable’ your content is.

And if you have the opportunity, consider stocking brands or shifting your products to be more environmentally friendly to help gain their attention.


73% of global millennials are willing to pay more money for eco-friendly brands.5

Generation Z (born 1998 to 2010)

Lastly, but not least, is Gen Z. Despite being the youngest of the segments, Gen Z represents a powerful group, which is said to soon become bigger than Baby Boomers and Millennials combined.6


Gen Z has been born into all the latest technologies, and have next-to-no concept of what ‘pre-internet’ means. They’re constantly online using their phones, so if you’re looking to target them, that’s where you need to be. But they’re not just ‘technologically savvy’, they’re also savvy when it comes to choosing brands that back social causes.7

Studies have found that 86% of Gen Z rely on the internet primarily for social media and entertainment, which is a stark contrast to Baby Boomers and Gen X who predominantly use it to be informed.6 Separate research found that YouTube is the most popular social network amongst this generation with 91% using the video streaming site.3

Actions you can take to attract Gen Z

Gen Z are avid social media users. But it’s important to understand they use these platforms for entertainment purposes, so you could try making your advertising and content more creative and entertaining.6

Also, if you do have a strong belief in a particular social cause, make it known. Or if you don’t, consider aligning your business to one. Let Gen Z know you’re passionate about fighting for good too.


75% of Gen Z are more likely to buy from a company that contributes to social causes.7

Keeping your eyes open

So next time you make a sale, don’t just focus on how much it was, but also consider the age demographic of your customer. You can obtain this customer data from Daily IQ, a free insights tool from CommBank.

By understanding your customers’ age demographic, you can identify how they buy, what they buy, and where they buy. And information like that can help you better manage your products, services and marketing to continually improve your business.

Things you should know

1.     ‘Millennials and GenZ take the marketing spotlight – what about the Boomers?’

2.    Generational Marketing: How to Target Millennials, Gen X, & Boomers

3.    Facebook and YouTube strong across all Generations but Pinterest, Instagram and TikTok have important user bases, Roy Morgan

4.    ‘An in-depth marketing guide to generational marketing

5.    Marketing to Millennials – from a Millennial

6.    ‘In depth: The art of dealing with Generation Z’

7.    ‘How brands need to market to Gen Z’

This article’s insights is for information purposes only. As this information has been prepared without having regard to your individual and/or business objectives, financial situation or needs, you should, before acting on this information, consider its appropriateness to your circumstances and seek professional advice.

Daily IQ is available to eligible business customers who hold a CommBank business account and have access to NetBank or CommBiz.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL and Australian credit licence 234945.