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Generation Y’s spending power spotlighted in latest AusPost report

Generation Y's spending power spotlighted in latest AusPost report
Generation Y's spending power spotlighted in latest AusPost report

Online shopping topped $63 billion in 2023, but according to the Australian Post report, the shopping habits reveal much about the consumer’s age and what their generation is after. 

In its newly released report looking into online shopping trends for 2024, the Australia Post found that GenZ shoppers are more conservative when spending their hard-earned money than any other generation. 

While spending may have slowed, “more Australian households are shopping online than ever before, with eight in 10 households making an online purchase in 2023,” says CEO Paul Graham.

Graham says that while last year was tough and challenging for Australians, “e-commerce proved its resilience.”

Online shopping according to age group

GenZ (18 to 26 years old) held back on online spending in 2023 by as much as (-11%) year on year(YoY). Their average size for online shopping takes a turn at around $80. Contrary to this, the Baby Boomers (60 to 78 years old) spent 7% more YoY on e-commerce, with an average basket size for online shopping totaling an average of $109. 

But GenY, now 27 or older but younger than 43, has spent more than any other generation in 2023, with a total of $22 billion.

“In today’s economy, younger generations are cutting back in response to challenging financial conditions,” states the report. The younger generation seems more financially responsible and careful than their seniors. “With uncertain job markets and increasing debt, they’re choosing smaller, budget-friendly purchases,” but they still spend their money graciously on fast fashion and affordable lifestyle products. 

Turning to the Baby Boomers with their “stable finances and established careers,” they continue to spend generously. “Particularly on home and garden items, [which] highlights a clear generational gap in spending habits.” The report notes that economic conditions and priorities primarily drive this.

Generation preferences for online shopping

GenY (Millennials), born in 1997 to 1981, prioritizes items in online shopping platforms’ home and garden categories. Equally important to them are specialty foods and liquor. 

GenZ (Zoomers) is the only generation caring about DIY projects with home and garden appliances. For this generation, it’s all about fashion. 23% of this age group spent their income on new clothing and shoes. 

Zoomers (93%) would instead shop from “brands that align with their sustainable values,” while 67% are the masters of switching retailers for a faster shipping thrill. The report says that half of these shoppers “ride the return wave,” indicating a solid inclination to send items back. Despite their love for buying clothing, they do have a “passion for the environment.” 

Millennials (82%), also crowned as the online “shopping champions” by this report, spend 23% of their retail budget online—more than any other generation. They are constantly looking for a “quick parcel delivery” option. 44% are embracing the option to return their online purchases. This group also focuses on convenience, with 57% indicating they would “switch retailers for faster shipping.”

Lost Generation (GenX) can easily be attracted by a free delivery option. 66% of this age group care about shopping from brands that align with their sustainability values. A low 34% of this generation believe in return logistics, with the majority that would instead stick with their purchases. 

Baby Boomers are the only generation who would rather keep their online purchase than return it (79%). Speed is not really his age group’s thing. A mere 17% are ready to shake up things and switch retailers for faster deliveries.

About the author

Mia is a multi-award-winning journalist. She has more than 14 years of experience in mainstream media. She's covered many historic moments that happened in Africa and internationally. She has a strong focus on human interest stories, to bring her readers and viewers closer to the topics at hand.

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