Who Are “Cuspers” and How Are They Spending Their Money?

July 22, 2019

There has been a lot written about Millennials and Gen Zers, but what about those young adults who fall somewhere in between these two groups? Cuspers, as they have been dubbed, are those 19-25-year-olds who are just starting out in adulthood but have, perhaps, already mastered being consumers. In fact, recent research by Fullscreen reveals that while Cuspers haven’t quite hit the financial standing of Millennials, they aren’t shy about spending their hard-earned dollars.

Fullscreen’s research found that while Millennials have significantly higher average household incomes ($70.4K) than Cuspers ($57.9K), this younger segment isn’t that far behind when it comes to their spending.

For example, Cuspers spend $677 per year on entertainment – just slightly behind Millennials ($719). A similar pattern can be seen across food and beverage ($900 vs $1,172), fashion ($417 vs $470) and beauty ($550 vs $587).

This relatively high rate of spending is reflected in prior research by Epsilon, which showed that US consumers younger than age 25 are making the most transactions compared to other age groups and are also spending more per transaction than Millennials. It should be noted, however, that these findings were inclusive of Gen Z as a whole, not just the 19-25-year-olds.

Who Are the Cuspers?

To know how best to reach this facet of the population, which by Fullscreen’s estimate has a reported $622 billion in purchasing power, it’s beneficial to see who they are and what makes them different from other age groups.

While every generation has its share of stressors, Cuspers are most certainly economic. A full 30% of respondents report finances as a stressor while one-fifth (20%) cite career opportunities, or perhaps the lack of them, as a stress inducer. Just more than half (53%) of Cuspers are employed, with only half of those being employed full-time.

Perhaps what sets Cuspers apart the most from other generations is that more than three-quarters (77%) of those Cuspers who are employed have a flexible gig job. This is compared to 54% of Millennials.

Despite the economic stressors, Cuspers can also be impulsive shoppers and early adopters. About 6 in 10 respondents say they tend to make impulse purchases while 45% say they are first among their friends to try new products.

Social Media and Content Creation

The vast majority of Cuspers (85%) believe that technology is making the world a better place, and they back this view up by using various technologies such as voice assistants (25%) and video games (58%). While Nielsen data found that two-thirds of Millennials play video games on at least a monthly basis, Fullscreen’s research found that more Cuspers are using game systems regularly than Millennials (43%).

Cuspers are also heavy users of social media, spending some 46 hours on social media platforms each week, which is 33% more time than Millennials. Much like the broader Gen Z age group (who believe they are the most creative generation), one-quarter of Cuspers say they are most comfortable expressing themselves through content they create.

Just as brands are finding out how effective Stories can be for their marketing efforts, Cuspers also find Stories to be an authentic and easy way to stay relevant on social media. In fact, a little more than one-third (35%) of respondents use Stories to publish the content they create.

Not only are Cuspers creating their own content, but they are also following others who create content, reporting that they follow an average of 25 influencers and 12 brands on social platforms. As a result of following brands and influencers on social, many of these young adults are discovering new products.

About the Data: More than 1,500 13-37-year-olds were surveyed online by Talk Shoppe on behalf of Fullscreen from April-May 2019; in addition, 11 total qualitative interviews were conducted across generations during the same time period.

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