Baby Boomers and Gen Xers are more likely to abandon some of their new online shopping behaviors and return to bricks and mortar than their younger counterparts are, according to a new research report by SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) and The Economist Intelligence Unit.

The Influential Shopper report, which surveyed more than 4,000 consumers globally, examined the spending levels of consumers before and since the start of the pandemic with a generational lens. The survey, conducted in September 2020, sought to gauge spending habits and preferred shopping channels before the pandemic, during the pandemic, and once restrictions ease. The report shows a clear trend of consumers shifting their behavior to rely increasingly on online shopping for both essential and nonessential items. The research found that:

  • Although overall monthly retail expenditure in the countries surveyed declined by 9% from the first quarter 2020 to the second quarter 2020, online spending increased by an average of 15%.
  • During the pandemic, online shopping for essential products such as groceries and cleaning supplies has become more deeply entrenched, with average monthly expenditure increasing by 78% and 49% respectively for the two categories.
  • Once restrictions ease, new online shopping behaviors are likely to continue but decrease slightly among younger cohorts (4 percentage points for Millennials and Gen Zers) but will decrease more significantly for older cohorts (9% for Baby Boomers and 6% for Gen Xers).
  • The ability to shop anywhere at any time is the number one reason why respondents across all generations like shopping online (cited by 49%). This feature was cited by significantly higher shares of Baby Boomers (59%) and Gen Xers (51%) than of Millennials and Gen Zers (at 42% each).

“In the future, the key to success for brands is to identify ways to meet the needs of and create exceptional experiences for all generational groups in whichever setting they choose — whether that’s in store or across various online channels,” said Paula Hansen, SAP Customer Experience chief revenue officer. “Businesses need to tailor and target their marketing with a careful consideration of age and shopping method of choice, to provide a seamless customer experience and guide shoppers down the path to purchase. This will put businesses on the path to a strong recovery and provide the agility to deal with future crises.”

The retail study results will be virtually featured January 12 through January 14, January 19 and January 21 and 22, 2021, at NRF 2021: Chapter One taking place virtually. Join the conversation by following SAP on Twitter at @SAP_Retail and visit sap.com/nrf to watch live presentations.

This article first appeared on the SAP News Center. Follow SAP on Twitter at @SAPNews.