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Baby Boomers and their shopping habits – how can retailers use the potential of this generation?

Every day, sellers and store owners meet with the needs and habits of different generations of customers – Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y (popularly known as Millenials) and Generation Z. Each of them has specific social and cultural characteristics that affect its shopping habits.

It seems that Millennials or Generation Z are in the spotlight of retailers today and the Baby Boomers generation (people born in 1946-64) is somewhat in the background. One can get the impression that retailers underestimate the purchasing potential of this group. Meanwhile, Baby Boomers are people with a stable life and professional position who can spend more money on their own needs compared to younger generations. Studies show that the Baby Boomers generation is more willing than the average customer to pay for high-quality products (59 percent of Baby Boomers declares it). When buying private labels, they also choose the more expensive ones more often.

Here are some other shopping habits of the Baby Boomers generation according to Shopping by Generation report prepared by Colloquy.

  • The Baby Boomers generation is more demanding than Generations X, Y and Z when it comes to quality of service. As the Loyalty One research shows, representatives of the Baby Boomers generation are willing to write off a retailer if a store was messy and if there were problems with returning the products.
  • Only 27% of surveyed Baby Boomers consider a shopping as a form of relaxation. The boomer score is well below the other age groups.
  • The Baby Boomers generation value convenience. Important for them are such factors as an easy-access location, an easy-to-navigate store or a clear return policy. Let’s remember that a large part of Baby Boomers is already retired, and some certainly suffer from abandoned nest syndrome, so they need contact with another person – some of them meet this need by talking to the store’s staff.
  • Price is important for them. For the Baby Boomers generation, price is more important than for younger generations.
  • Baby Boomers are confident in their shopping decisions. Just 12% of boomers ask a family or friends for help in choosing a brand or product.
  • 84% of Baby Boomers prefer shopping in stationary stores. This is definitely a higher indicator than in other generations.
  • Baby Boomers are not stuck in the “good old days” – they do not feel the need to buy brands that they used in their youth
  • When choosing a product, Baby Boomers are often influenced by its popularity – twice as as likely as Millennials

It is certainly worth fighting for consumers from the Baby Boomers generation, taking into account its consumer habits and age restrictions. Meeting the needs of older people has become much easier than it was a few years ago and new technologies come with help. Technological solutions are not only targeted to young customers and an example of a solution that meets the needs of Baby Boomers are prototypes of interactive trolleys that follow the customer, which tell where to find a given product and inform about current promotions.

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