Decoding LGBTQ+ Consumer Behavior: Trends, Preferences, and Purchasing Patterns

Posted on June 26, 2024 by Media Culture

The LGBTQ+ community represents a significant and growing consumer segment in the United States. Understanding the unique characteristics, preferences, and behaviors of this diverse group is crucial for businesses seeking to effectively engage with and cater to LGBTQ+ consumers. This article delves into the latest trends, preferences, and purchasing patterns of the LGBTQ+ community, providing valuable insights for marketers and businesses alike.

For additional detail, and for a full list of sources, please make sure to download the full report: LGBTQ+: Audience Insights Report.


/// Shopping Behavior and Brand Loyalty

LGBTQ+ consumers exhibit unique shopping behaviors and brand preferences that marketers should consider. They prioritize price, convenience, and support for independent or locally owned businesses, suggesting a value-conscious consumer base that also appreciates supporting local enterprises. Their shopping habits reveal a mix of spontaneous and planned purchasing behaviors, with 36% making impulse purchases and 44% using pre-written lists. Notably, 18% check prices via mobile when in-store, indicating a reliance on mobile technology for price comparisons.

The LGBTQ+ community shows a strong preference for online shopping, with 12% preferring to do nearly all shopping online and 20% opting for mostly online with some in-store shopping. This highlights a significant shift towards e-commerce, but also suggests the continued importance of physical retail experiences for certain purchases.

Product attributes play a crucial role in purchasing decisions for LGBTQ+ consumers. Twelve percent value products that are produced sustainably, while 22% prioritize fun or exciting products, and 14% seek rewarding experiences. This suggests an appreciation for brands that offer more than just functional benefits, emphasizing the importance of emotional and experiential factors in their consumer choices. Additionally, there's a notable consciousness about the social and environmental impact of their purchases, with 15% preferring to shop at women- or minority-owned businesses and 18% favoring retailers that care about the environment.

Social media influencers have a significant impact on LGBTQ+ consumer behavior, particularly on platforms like TikTok and YouTube. This underscores the importance of influencer marketing in reaching and engaging with LGBTQ+ consumers. Brands looking to connect with this community should consider partnering with influencers who resonate with LGBTQ+ values and experiences.

In terms of retail preferences, LGBTQ+ consumers show a tendency to favor certain types of stores and brands. They are more likely to shop at convenience stores like CircleK and Speedway, possibly due to the convenience factor these stores offer. In the apparel sector, brands like Converse, Forever 21, and Michael Kors resonate well with this demographic, suggesting a preference for a mix of casual and fashion-forward styles.

The travel and hospitality industry also sees distinct preferences among LGBTQ+ consumers. Airbnb is a favored choice for lodging, indexing at 148 compared to the general population. This preference could be attributed to Airbnb's reputation for inclusivity and the unique, personalized experiences it offers. In the airline industry, LGBTQ+ travelers show a strong preference for United Airlines, which indexes at 173 compared to the general population.

The automotive sector reveals interesting patterns as well. Toyota emerges as a preferred brand among LGBTQ+ drivers, while luxury brands like Audi also index highly. This suggests a diverse range of preferences within the community, from practical, reliable vehicles to high-end luxury cars.

Restaurant preferences among LGBTQ+ consumers lean towards pizza chains, with Domino's Pizza, Little Caesars, and Papa John's all indexing above average. This could indicate a preference for casual, convenient dining options that cater to social gatherings or quick meals.


/// Technology and Innovation

LGBTQ+ consumers demonstrate a strong affinity for technology, which significantly influences their purchasing decisions and digital engagement. Half of LGBTQ+ adults believe tech products define their self-image, and 48% advise friends on tech matters. This suggests that technology plays a crucial role in their personal identity and social interactions, making it a key area for brands to focus on when targeting this demographic.

When it comes to tech product benefits, LGBTQ+ consumers value luxury (19%), innovation (27%), and dependability (77%). This indicates a preference for high-quality, cutting-edge technology that offers reliable performance. The emphasis on dependability suggests that while they appreciate innovative features, they also prioritize products that can be relied upon in their day-to-day lives.

Environmental impact, durability, and appearance are key factors in tech purchases for LGBTQ+ consumers. Seventeen percent consider environmental impact, 74% prioritize durability, and 31% focus on appearance. This balance between practical considerations and aesthetic preferences highlights the multifaceted nature of their tech purchasing decisions.

LGBTQ+ consumers rely heavily on social media influencers for tech information, particularly on platforms like TikTok and YouTube. This highlights the importance of digital word-of-mouth in their tech purchasing decisions and suggests that tech brands should consider influencer partnerships as a key component of their marketing strategies targeting this demographic.


Related: The LGBTQ+ Media Landscape: From Social Media to Streaming, Podcasts to Print


/// Key Takeaways

  1. LGBTQ+ consumers prioritize price, convenience, and support for independent businesses in their shopping decisions.
  2. There's a strong preference for online shopping, with 32% doing most or all of their shopping online.
  3. Brand loyalty spans diverse industries, with preferences for brands like CircleK, Converse, Toyota, and Airbnb.
  4. Product sustainability, excitement, and rewarding experiences are important factors in purchasing decisions.
  5. Social media influencers, particularly on TikTok and YouTube, significantly impact LGBTQ+ consumer behavior.
  6. Technology plays a crucial role in LGBTQ+ consumers' lives, with 50% believing tech products define their self-image.
  7. LGBTQ+ consumers value luxury, innovation, and dependability in tech products.
  8. Environmental impact, durability, and appearance are key factors in tech purchases.

/// Conclusion

Understanding the consumer behavior of the LGBTQ+ community is crucial for businesses looking to engage with this significant market segment effectively. From their shopping preferences and brand loyalties to their technology usage and digital engagement, LGBTQ+ consumers exhibit distinct patterns that set them apart from the general population.

Their shopping behaviors reveal a value-conscious yet socially aware consumer base that appreciates convenience, quality, and brands that align with their values. The strong preference for online shopping, coupled with the continued importance of in-store experiences, suggests that an omnichannel approach would be most effective in reaching this demographic.

In the realm of technology, LGBTQ+ consumers are early adopters and influencers, valuing products that offer a balance of innovation, dependability, and self-expression. Their reliance on social media and digital platforms for information and purchasing decisions highlights the importance of a strong digital presence and influencer partnerships for brands targeting this community.

By tailoring their offerings, marketing strategies, and customer experiences to align with these preferences and behaviors, businesses can better serve the LGBTQ+ community and build lasting relationships with this diverse and influential consumer group.

Elevate your marketing strategy by tapping into our comprehensive insights on the LGBTQ+ consumer market. Our data-driven analysis of their priorities, from value-conscious purchasing and online shopping trends to brand loyalties and tech affinities, will empower you to develop targeted strategies that truly resonate with this diverse and influential demographic. Partner with us to gain a competitive advantage in engaging and serving LGBTQ+ consumers effectively, fostering brand loyalty, and driving sustainable business growth in this dynamic market segment.

For deeper insights and data into marketing to LGBTQ+ adults, download our comprehensive Audience Insights Report below.


Our minds work fast. Subscribe to the blog so you always stay ahead.