At Loop, it’s very important to us that we make our merchants—and merchants like you—successful. Every year, we survey thousands of consumers for our Consumer Report. This year, we shared important findings that you can use to optimize your post-purchase experience without compromising your budget. We specifically asked respondents in different generations about what kinds of returns offerings helped convince them to make an online purchase.

Using data to pinpoint who your target audience is and who typically likes to shop with you can help you streamline your efforts both before and after they make a purchase at your store. These findings are meant to help you determine what factors help influence each generation to make a purchase decision, so that you can implement them for yourself.

Learn more about what your shoppers are looking for in their returns. Download our 2023 Consumer Report here

In this blog, we’ll discuss our findings from our 2023 Consumer Report related to consumer preferences in the US and in the UK, including:

  • What Gen Z consumers want (ages 9-24) 
  • What Millennials want (ages 25-40)
  • What Gen X consumers want (41-56)
  • What Baby Boomers want (57-75)

What Gen Z consumers want (ages 9-24) 

While every generation agreed that having free returns and exchanges (69.73%% of Gen Z) and having an easy-to-follow returns process (55.56% of Gen Z), these two factors are far less important to Gen Z than they are to, say, Baby Boomers and Gen X. Gen Z is also the generation most likely to be influenced to make a purchase by retailer-curated product suggestions based on past purchases (11.11% of respondents agreed).

According to our most recent Consumer Report, the majority of Gen Z consumers are otherwise mainly concerned with having extensive exchange options (31.42%), having the ability to keep an item but still get a refund for their purchase (30.65%), and eco-friendly returns options (28.74%). Interestingly enough, Gen Z consumers do not care much for at-home return pickup, with only 12.64% of respondents ranking this factor among those that would convince them to make an online purchase. They do, however, value having an unlimited return window (22.22% of Gen Z) more than their Gen X (17.36%) and Millenial (20.22%) counterparts. They share this in common with Baby Boomers, who, like Gen Z also like when retailers use sustainable and reusable packaging. 

What Millennials want (ages 25-40)

More than any other generational group (at 42.42% of respondents), Millennials want a variety of exchange options available to them when they shop. This could explain why they rank in-person returns options (25.82%), the option to keep their returned items and get a refund (27.14%), and packageless return drop-off (28.35%) rather similarly. It could be that certain Millennials like to return in person, while other Millennials prefer to drop off a packageless return, while others prefer to simply keep their items. 

While Millennials are more concerned (27.47%) than other generations—namely Gen X (15.9%) and Baby Boomers (14.15%)—about eco-friendly returns options, their nature-friendly preferences end there. Only 14.62% of Millennials cared about sustainable/reusable returns packaging, and only 12.75% of Millennials were concerned with carbon-neutral order options.  

What Gen X consumers want (41-56)

While Gen X agrees with the other generations that free returns and exchanges and an easy-to-follow returns process are most important when considering whether to buy an item from an online retailer, their other preferences are more complex.

They are the least likely generational group to be swayed to purchase an item because of retailer-curated product suggestions based on past purchases (4.39%). They prefer in-person returns (25.31%) to any other method of return, but only just. They’re also the least likely group to consider product warranties or guarantees in their purchase choices, and they’re the least  likely group to appreciate an unlimited return window (17.36%).

What Baby Boomers want (57-75)

Convenience is king for Baby Boomers, but they’re also swayed by purchase perks. Nearly all Baby Boomers expect free returns and exchanges (94.15%), even though paid returns are quickly becoming the norm across the ecommerce industry. 

More than having extensive exchange options (28%), Baby Boomers care about product quality guarantees and warranties (38.77%), in-person returns options (32.31%), and at-home returns pickup (36.62%). Baby Boomers are also the generation that is most likely to make an online purchase based on post-purchase coupons or discounts on future purchases (21.85%). 

Give your customers their most ideal post-purchase experience, regardless of how old they are. Book a demo with Loop today.