Buying Habits of Baby Boomers
Boomers are still viewed as one of the largest and most affluent generations we’ve seen. As a generation that still holds $2.6 trillion in buying power, they’re a leader in keeping brick and mortar stores in business. While Boomers are one of the most affluent generations, a driving force behind that statistic is that many Boomers are still in the workforce, even those who have surpassed retirement age.
65% of Boomer women are expected to be working by 2022, many returning to the workforce after retiring and realizing that they will need more income to stay afloat through the autumn of their life. Many of those who have returned to the workforce use their income to cover bills and also enjoy the resurgence of expendable income to make their lives comfortable.
When it comes to shopping, Baby Boomers expect to be treated like the valuable customer they are. This mindset drives them to physical store locations as they prefer a human experience when shopping for goods, and will abandon shopping at a store, even one of their favorites, if they have a bad experience with customer service.
How to Reach A Target Audience of Baby Boomer Shoppers
They prefer a pleasant shopping experience that is convenient and straight forward, they aren’t ones to browse and seek out new brands or items. They visit stores where they know the items they’re looking for are available, so they can grab each item and go. Boomers stick to what they know is tried and true. This is not to say they’re nostalgic, they do not strictly buy the brands they grew up with, they buy what they have learned works best over years of trial.
If they are in the market for a new brand or product, they’re more likely to seek out products that have a strong suggested popularity—products that are perceived as popular among peers or with prominent omnichannel engagement are what they are most likely to try first. However, they are not a generation that is easily influenced by social media popularity. While they enjoy spending time with social media, they view it as a source of entertainment rather than a trustworthy source.
While this generation prefers to shop in-store, they often use online shopping for things that are unavailable in-store near them, and for difficult to find items. They enjoy taking stock of their options but aren’t often ones to hunt in vain for a bargain. If a reward or loyalty option is available online, this will increase their likelihood to shop in this fashion as this ties into their perception of being a valued consumer.
When it comes to spending, these empty-nesters place greater importance on spending to improve and customize their homes, on healthier food, and to spoil their fur babies who have brought youthful exuberance back into their homes. Many also feel that incorporating travel into their lives is important, mainly spending money on luxury cruises and airfare.
The Shopping Behavior of Generation Z
Generation Z is the first generation to live their entire lives within a digital-first world; this generation relies on and expects everything to be readily available online. As a generation that expects things to be instantly ready (they’re 60% more likely to hang up if a phone isn’t answered within 45 seconds), they don’t like waiting for things they buy online to ship, they need instant gratification.
While their reasons are not wholly the same as Baby Boomers, Generation Z is the most prominent generation to prefer in-store shopping versus online. 84% of Gen Z views shopping as an opportunity to plan an outing with friends, often creating a shopping list of things they’ve found online and want to buy in their local store while browsing with a group of friends. A traditional store environment won’t hold the attention of Gen Z shoppers, however. Gen Z is used to being entertained, so they seek out stores that have digital enhancements and ways to incorporate their in-store experience into their online lives. Locations that create a digitally friendly space in their physical location are more likely to gain Gen Z shoppers.