Boomerangers Susceptible to Impulse Purchases

March 3, 2011

luminosity-purchasing-habits-boomerangers-mar11.gifOne-third (34%) of “Boomerangers,” or college-educated young adults with full-time jobs who have returned home to live with their parents, say they make impulse purchases, according to a new report from Luminosity Marketing. Data from part 2 of the Luminosity Boomerang Consumer Study also indicates that a little more than 20% of Boomerangers say they make purchases after thinking about it that day.

More than Half of Boomerangers Make Purchases with Minimal Planning

Therefore, more than half of Boomerangers will make a purchase either on impulse or with minimal planning. Close to 25% say they will make a purchase after planning for a week. Interestingly, the rate of Boomerangers who say they will make a purchase after planning for more than two weeks (15%) is almost three times as high as the rate who will make a purchase after two weeks of planning (a little more than 5%).

Thirteen percent of parents with grown children say that at least one child has moved back home in the past year.

Boomerangers Largely Self-Influenced

luminosity-purchasing-influencers-boomerangers-mar11.gifWhen asked what influenced a specific purchase they made, 64% of Boomerangers said themselves. The next-most-popular influencer, family, was mentioned by slightly less than 20% of Boomerangers. Outside of themselves and relatives, Boomerangers were most likely to cite friends (a little more than 10%) as an influencer. Significant others and co-workers were both only mentioned by less than 10% of respondents.

Clothing, Identity Items Have Distinct Qualities

Clothing and identity items exhibit distinct qualities in the purchasing cycle for Boomerangers, according to Luminosity analysis. They are equally likely to make impulse purchases as they are to plan for long amounts of time (one week or more) before buying them.

Clothing and identity items also show a unique quality in the post purchase stage. The purchase for the Boomeranger does not seem to be officially complete until after he or she is able to re-live the experience by examining and possibly showing off the item at home. This post purchase behavior indicates that the packaging, shopping bags and other item wrappings may hold more weight in the shopping experience than in other categories.

Other Findings

  • Little luxuries and impulse items have very short purchasing cycles which usually happen within a span of a few minutes and boil down to seeing an item, purchasing it, consuming it, and forgetting about it.
  • Boomerangers do not purchase branded items in many of the categories that would be expected, such as apparel and accessories. They are more likely to buy branded items in categories such as toiletries, medical, household items and groceries, if they fill a specific need.

Boomerangers Influence Many Purchase Decisions

Boomerangers have a large degree of influence on many purchase decisions, both for personal purchases and for household purchases, according to data from part 1 of the study. About 40% of Boomerangers make an independent decision about home furnishings for their bedroom, and close to another 40% make household decisions about home furnishings for their bedroom. Slightly more than 40% make independent decisions about health insurance, and about 35% make household health insurance decisions.

Other areas where Boomerangers hold sway over purchase decisions include car/transportation (almost 40% independent, about 35% household), cell phone (about 25% for both independent and household), and toiletries (about 22% independent and 25% household).

In the categories of internet, groceries and cable/satellite TV, a relatively low percentage of Boomerangers make independent decisions but a relatively high percentage make household decisions, suggesting Boomerangers tend to share these products and services with their parents. The highest levels of parental decision-making occur in the areas of yard maintenance, utilities, home improvement, home furnishings for common areas, and home repair.

About the Data: The Boomerangers studied in this report are college graduates, between the ages of 22 and 29 who are single, have full-time jobs and live at home with their parents.

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