Millennial vs. Gen Z eBay shoppers during the holidays

It’s that time of year again, where temperatures drop and people flock online and to their local stores to pick out their seasonal decor, festive lights, and gifts for loved ones. An August 2023 study revealed about 60% of Gen Z consumers plan on increasing their e-commerce holiday spending this season, just above 44% percent of Millennials.

As the holiday season approaches, it’s important for eBay sellers to understand anticipated buying behaviors and trends. In our annual Holiday Guide, we delved into the nuanced differences between Millennials and Gen Z’s approach to planning and spending during the festive season, with the aim to gain insights that can help inform a seller’s inventory, keyword and advertising strategy to drive sales and maximize profits. 

We also looked at first-party marketplace data to uncover the differences in the actions each generation took on eBay in 2022, from top categories searched, brands purchased, and amount spent through the season. Knowing the variation between Gen Z vs Millennials can greatly affect how you advertise your listings to get in front of the right shoppers ready to buy.  Here’s what we uncovered:

Millennials are prone to overspending

We found that six in ten (61%) of all surveyed holiday shoppers ended up spending more than expected on holiday gifts last year. Interestingly, Millennial (ages 35-44) shoppers spent the most (70%) above their expected budget. 

In addition to holiday gifts, holiday decorations also caused shoppers to overspend, with 46% of overall respondents spending more than expected on decorations. Millennials topped the list, with 60% of overspending in this category. 

Similarly, holiday food was a major expense for respondents, with 56% spending more than expected on festive treats. Once again, the 35-44 age group was the highest, with 67% of shoppers overspending. 

Sellers with inventory related to hosting, home decor, and small kitchen appliances should consider Promoted Listings Advanced and utilize relevant keywords to boost visibility for buyers ready to buy. We recommend including at least 10 to 15 keywords per listing to increase the chances of interested buyers seeing your listings. Don’t forget to use both phrase and broad keyword match types, as well as negative keywords when you’d like to exclude specific terms.

Both demographics trust ads

Our 2023 Holiday Guide also uncovered that one-third (33%) of surveyed respondents say they are very influenced by ads during the holidays, with more than 50% of gifts they purchase being different from what they originally intended to purchase, due to ads. This percentage rises to almost half (47%) of Millennial shoppers. For eBay sellers, this emphasizes advertisements as a great vehicle to boost listing visibility, inspire shoppers, and drive sales, for eBay shoppers are highly influenced by marketing in the holiday season.

Gen Z top searches and purchases

Over the 2022 holiday season, Gen Z headed to eBay to search for items for themselves as well as gifts for others. 

Millennial vs Gen Z eBay Ads categories

Top searched categories made by Gen Z over the 2022 holiday season included Action Figures & Accessories, Books, Cell Phone Accessories, Collectable Card Games, Diecast & Toy Vehicles, Fan Apparel & Souvenirs, and Watches, Parts & Accessories.

Millennial vs Gen Z eBay Ads searches

On Black Friday, Gen Z eBay shoppers’ top searched items on the marketplace included Airpods Pro, Apple Watch, Carhartt Jacket, Gaming Laptop, iPhone 11, Nintendo Switch, PS5, and Xbox Series X.

Similar to Millennials, the top brands Gen Z shoppers purchased over the same retail holiday included Adidas, Funko, JBL, LEGO, Nintendo, and Panini.

Millennials top searches and purchases

Some of the top searches and top brands purchased by Millennials over the 2022 holiday season included Adidas, Nike and Samsung. eBay sellers can leverage the popularity of these brands by promoting complementary items, such as bundles or accessories, on their listings to potentially increase sales.

Millennial vs Gen Z eBay Ads searches

Over Cyber Week 2022, Millennials top keyword searches included iPad, jordan 4, lego, milwaukee, nintendo switch games, and rolex.

Millennial vs Gen Z eBay Ads purchases

During the same time period, Millennials top purchases included Apple HomePod mini, JBL Wireless Headphones, Adidas clothing, Crocs Men’s and Women’s Shoes, and iRobot Roomba.

You can learn more about eBay shopper habits over the holiday season in our full 2023 Holiday Guide here.

Implement Promoted Listings Advanced

With so many high-value consumers heading to online marketplaces to get their holiday gifts, eBay sellers should consider prioritizing getting their listings at the top of search results to grab Gen Z and Millennial shoppers’ attentions as quickly as possible.

eBay sellers can use Promoted Listings Advanced to get their listings in front of Gen Z and Millennial buyers during the holidays shopping for items like theirs. This innovative advertising solution allows sellers to bid on relevant keywords, increasing the visibility of their ads and thus, conversions.

Interested in trying Promoted Listings Advanced this winter? Unlock a wealth of business growth with Advanced ads, putting your products in front of the right buyers at the right time.

Source: eBay Ads data Sept 2022-Feb 2023

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