Middle Class Consumers Demand Savings and Value from Retailers

A new survey has revealed middle class consumers think retailers need to do more to meet their needs.

According to the “State of the Middle-Class Shopper” survey from Bread Financial in April 2024, 50% of surveyed middle-class consumers say they are spending more than they were last year, and 91% are focused more on needs than wants. 1

Chain Store Age reports that 98% of these shoppers believe retailers could be doing more to better meet their needs:

  • 58% want to see better prices.
  • 47% want more sales and promotions.
  • 37% of respondents want to see new or improved loyalty programs, as well as better customer service. 2

Purchase Drivers Vary by Age Group

While nearly half (47%) of middle class consumers surveyed are driven by brand loyalty when making purchases, purchase drivers vary across generations:

  • Millennial (26%) and Gen Z (26%) respondents want brands to offer mobile apps or improve existing apps—that’s more than double 11% of baby boomers or want mobile apps. (11%) to want brands to offer a mobile app or improve their current app.2
  • A leading one-in-five (19%) Gen Z respondents want brands to increase social media giveaways and promotions, while 17% say brands can improve their overall social media content.2

Younger generations also want more options across the board:

  • Millennial (16%) and Gen Z (17%) respondents are four times as likely as baby boomer respondents (4%) to want additional payment options, such as a store credit card or buy now, pay later (BNPL). 2
  • Millennial (20%) and Gen Z (22%) respondents are also twice as likely as surveyed baby boomers (11%) to want more specialty services, like personal shopping or buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS).2

“Middle class shoppers across generations all share a desire for better service, better deals and better loyalty programs,” said Nick Antonelli, chief marketing officer at Bread Financial. “Looking at the rising generations of the middle-class shopper, if Gen Z and millennials are in your customer base, meet them where they are, with attainable – yet aspirational – products, payment options and engaging digital experiences.” 2

Middle Class Consumers Respond to Advertising Across Print & Digital Channels

15.3% of US adults have household income that ranges from $50,000 to $149,999. These consumers have responded to advertising across a variety of print and digital channels in the past 12 months:

  • 58% have responded to ads or offers in the mailbox.
  • 53% have responded to a streaming TV ad.
  • 50% have responded to a pre-roll video ad.
  • 49% have responded to an online ad. 3

Use Personalized, Data-Driven Advertising Messages

A data-driven approach that efficiently targets your highest-value potential customers and engages them with personalized, relevant messaging to meet them wherever they are in the buying process can help you navigate shifting consumer behavior and win in the marketplace.

Data analysis provides valuable consumer insights that enable us to enhance and optimize your campaigns. Connect the right message with the right customer at the right time to make the most of your advertising budget.  Learn more in our video.

Ensure Consistent Delivery of Your Brand and Increase Revenue

A customized advertising campaign that coordinates print and digital messaging across multiple channels can ensure you reach your target audience wherever they are in their buying journey. On average, consistent brand delivery increases revenue by 23%.4

Did you know?

Consumers are 68% more likely to engage with your advertising message when it is personalized to them.5

Learn more about the effectiveness of coordinated print and digital solutions here. Complete the form below to connect with an expert to discuss your customer acquisition goals.

Sources: “TARGETING MIDDLE INCOME HOUSEHOLDS, Incentive and Loyalty Programs are in Demand,” AdMall April 2024 1; “Middle-class shoppers spend more, but retailers fall short,” Chain Store Age.com., April March 2024 2; AdMall AudienceSCAN 2023 3; Reasons Why Brand Consistency Should Be Top Priority advertisingweek.com, 2022 4; Lob State of Direct Mail Consumer Insights 2023 5