My 27-year-old daughter, Elissa, asked me what I wanted this holiday season. My choice was one of those newfangled, voice-activated digital doodads disguised as an unassuming sound speaker but which otherwise behaves like the late, great Robin Williams’ Genie from Disney’s “Aladdin.” “Your wish is my command!”

Already knowing the two dominant brands in this category are Amazon Echo and Google Home, each of us started researching the best choice and the best bargains.

Elissa danced her fingertips across an iPad to research the devices and comparison shop.

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The following day, I grabbed an incoming email I spotted on my iPhone that pitched a deeply discounted price for the Google Home and I instantly fired it off to her in a text message. Since I’m a Google geek and the critical consensus says Echo is better suited to home automation applications, which we don’t indulge in at the moment, I went with Google Home.

Elissa’s a millennial. I’m a baby boomer. Yet each of us deployed the same shopper’s path to research a planned purchase. Millennials, unsurprisingly, are leading the way in how we shop today, which is rapidly changing from how baby boomers grew up shopping back in the day.

Remember the Sears catalog, thick as a phone book? Or the phone book itself, for that matter, the one with the yellow pages of business listings we would flip through to find the best purveyor to patronize?

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