US Shoppers Are Embracing Second-Hand and Upcycled Products

February 13, 2020

This article is included in these additional categories:

Boomers & Older | Customer-Centric | Demographics & Audiences | Industries | Retail & E-Commerce | Spending Trends | Youth & Gen X

FirstInsight Secondary Markets Upcycled Products Feb2020Consumers are no longer just focusing on price when it comes to making purchase decisions. Indeed, a majority of Gen Z (72%), Millennial (70%) and Gen X (63%) shoppers say that their purchase decisions are based on value, as well as social, personal and environmental principles, per a report [download page] from First Insight.

Part of this focus on value and sustainability means not always buying new. Indeed, the majority of Millennials (64%), Gen Xers (63%) and Silents (62%) surveyed say they have shopped at a secondary or used market and, to a lesser extent, so have Gen Z (59%) and Baby Boomers (62%). This is supported by other global research that found that 6 in 10 adults are more open to buying used goods than they were 5 years ago.

Regardless of age, most second-hand shopping is done in-store. However, Millennials (23% in-store vs. 21% online) and Gen Z consumers (26% in-store vs. 19% online) are more inclined than others to do their secondary or used market shopping online. Additionally, the most popular sustainable retail model across all generations is resale/consignment.

Purchasing upcycled products, which the report defines as “products made of discarded objects or materials to create a product of higher quality or perceived value than the original”, is another way consumers are upholding their commitment to sustainability. Almost 3 in 5 Gen Z (59%) and Millennial (57%) respondents say they would purchase upcycled products. However, while just more than half (52%) of Silents are willing to purchase upcycled products, fewer Gen Xers (47%) and Boomers (38%) are willing to go this route.

Although more US consumers say they are willing to pay more for environmentally-friendly products than did in the past, that is not the most pressing reason for respondents to First Insight’s survey to shop sustainable brands. Instead, more of these consumers shop sustainable brands because of quality, value and craftsmanship.

The full report can be downloaded here.

About the Data: Results are based on a survey of more than 1,000 US consumers fielded in December 2019.

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