Retailers have been investing in advertising campaigns targeted to baby boomers for years, and with a great return- as four out of five retailers attribute nearly 50% of their sales to boomers.
Up until recently, the generation born between 1976 and 1994 (Millennials) has been considered short on the spending power needed for marketers to target. Today, at 80 million strong, millennials are entering their peak consumption years, surpassing their 74.9 Million boomer counterparts.
If retailers want to capitalize on the spending power of 154.9 million people, they can’t ignore the spending potential of millennials or alienate the loyal spending power of boomers. They’ll need to create a single brand experience for both with multi generational retail strategies. Companies are looking into redesigning existing products, and adjusting their production value to hit both demographics.
Some retailers are even trying to modernize much-needed tools for the elderly, like the gunmetal gray walkers that date to the 1950s. While they may badly need a makeover, simply applying high-technology solutions to existing products does not always work.
Synchrony Financial’s latest report, “Balancing Multi-Generational Retail Strategies,” takes a closer look at the shopping habits of millennials and boomers, offering marketing strategies on how to appeal to both generations at the same time.
Here are some of Synchrony’s findings:
How millennials and baby boomers are similar
Coupons: Baby boomers and millennials share a love for coupons, sales, and bargains.
Online shopping: Both are comfortable with browsing, researching, and shopping online.
Female shoppers on social media: In both demographics, women are far more likely than men to talk on social media about what they bought. 82% of female boomers and 83% of female millennials are sharing their retail experiences on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
How millennials and boomers differ
Digital devices: While both generations have digital devices, millennials use theirs to make shopping easier, doing research on their smartphones and tablets before they buy. Boomers are also tech-savvy, but they’re less likely to use their devices as a shopping tool.Synchrony Financial
Word-of-mouth influence: 82% of millennials tend to favor word of mouth from friends, family, and social media when they’re deciding what to buy — compared to only 52% of boomers, who are influenced most by retail websites, then by advertising and salespeople.
In-store experience: When they’re shopping in stores, boomers place high importance on customer service (helpful salespeople, for example) in judging the quality of their experience. Millennials also enjoy customer service, but they often turn to technology to improve their in-store shopping.
Pricing: Boomers are less motivated by price than millennials, and they’re loyal to the styles and brands they like. Millennials care a lot about how much things cost, especially in categories such as appliances, specialty retail, electronics, and department stores.
While these findings are giving retailers some insight on the generational differences and similarities in shopping habits, it’ll take much more fine tuning to be able to successfully market to both Millennials and Boomers.
As the generation who’s come of age with technological advances, that have come and gone, boomers tend to be more attracted to names and brands they trust, versus the newest, shiniest option. Boomers tend to purchase to items that make their lives more convenient while Millennials focus on experiences with entertainment value. With these major differences, how do you see retailers reaching you in the future?