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Generation Resilience: How the Pandemic Changed Digital for Everyone

“Generation Resilience” is the fourth annual study commissioned by WP Engine and conducted by The Center for Generational Kinetics (CGK) to examine new and prevailing expectations for digital held by different generations of web users.

By providing insights into the evolving digital preferences of increasingly savvy audiences and consumers, this report is meant to empower marketers, strategists, and business leaders across every industry. 

While this year’s research maintains a focus on younger generations such as Millennials and Gen Z, it also offers additional detail on the digital behaviors of other generations, including Baby Boomers and Gen Xers, for a wider look at the way every generation has responded to and changed alongside the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Download the ebook now to read the full report!


An Unparalleled Event for Every Generation

The pandemic has sparked unprecedented changes to our daily lives, including a rapid acceleration to digital that’s ushered in a new era of online connectivity. Put simply, for many of us around the world, our lives have moved online more than ever before.

At its peak in 2020, global internet use was up more than 30%, with specific markets like video streaming up more than twice that amount. Similarly, nearly a third of all businesses either began or increased their use of digital technologies during the pandemic. 

In a flash, the digital experience became inseparable from the human experience, serving as a lifeline across all facets of our daily lives. Can you imagine the pandemic without the internet?

Today, it’s hard to think of a grocery chain that doesn’t include curbside pickup or a doctor who doesn’t see patients online. With so much activity now on the web, and with new technologies constantly emerging that deepen the online connection, the relationship with the digital world has shifted for us all.  

This report is meant to help you better understand these changes and the identifying behaviors and preferences that are playing out in today’s digital landscape, across all generations.


Key Takeaways

While the full report offers a deeper dive into all of these areas, the following key insights provide a look at some of the larger trends our research uncovered, as well as considerations you should keep in mind as you plan your digital strategy for the future:

  • Technology is at the center of every generation: 

65% of all generations say they rely on technology now more than ever before. 

  • Digital habits are forever changed: 

More than 60% of Gen Z and Millennials plan to continue using the digital channels they adopted or increasingly used during the pandemic.

  • Video streaming reigns supreme:

70% of Gen Z increased their use of streaming services during the pandemic.

  • The remote workplace is here to stay: 

48% of Gen Z, 65% of Millennials, and 54% of Gen X would prefer to continue working remotely. 

  • The web is now truly democratized:

Website ownership has increased more than 300% over the past two years across every generation.  

Download the full report to find out more!


Generational Resilience: FAQs

How do you define a generation?

A generation is a group of people born around the same time and raised around the same place. People in this “birth cohort” exhibit similar characteristics, preferences, and values over their lifetimes. 

Who is Generation Z? Gen Z is defined as the generation born between 1996-2015, Millennials are defined as those born between 1977-1995, Gen X is defined as those born between 1965-1976, and Baby Boomers are defined as the generation born between 1946-1964.  

Does Gen Z have the largest influence on technology?

Even before the pandemic, both Gen Z and Millenials were a powerful, influential force on the overall economy and technology specifically, due in no small part to their online fluency. 

While the latest acceleration to digital has seen the influence of Gen Z and Millenials expand exponentially, it’s also informed digital trends and preferences that are now “trickling down” to older generations. 

How can I reach younger and older generations simultaneously?

All generations are embracing digital but a digital experience built for Gen X or Baby Boomers may need to emphasize very different things from one that is meant to engage Gen Z and Millennials.

To win more wallet share from all generations of web users, companies need to adjust their approaches and match the new market realities younger generations are bringing to the forefront while paying attention to pain points older generations are experiencing in their online interactions


Navigating the Evolving Digital Landscape

The pandemic and the evolving digital landscape it’s created have blurred the digital and human experiences more than ever before. 

The results are apparent across every generation, and in this new world, it’s important to both understand the “always online” mentality that has become even more widespread, while balancing it alongside the nuances each generation reflects in its digital behaviors. 

As you navigate the evolving digital landscape, this report will serve as a helpful guide for reaching all generations of web users. With data that goes beyond macro trends surrounding web use to provide more nuanced insights, you can better prepare your business for the digital trends of today and the demands of the future. 

Read the full report to find out more!  


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