Social class and life cycle as predictors of shopping behavior

Rich, S. U., and Jain, S. C. Social class and life cycle as predictors of shopping behavior. Journal of Marketing Research 5 (February 1968), 41–49. [URL]


This is an old study of how social class might represent a good predictor of shopping behavior. The authors conducted a large interview study with women in Cleveland, US. They found that at that time, newspaper was a great surce of information for women. Through this study, the author were able to understand that social class distincitions have been obscured by rising incomes and educational levels.

Traditionally it has been held that consumer buying behavior can be classified by social class and stage in the family life cycle. Recently it has been suggested that these distinctions have been obscured by the leveling effects of social and economic changes. From data of an extensive empirical study of women’s shopping behavior, the authors suggest that in many instances the earlier market segmentation concept may be outmoded.

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