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Why retailers should pay more attention to Baby Boomers on the virtual era?

Updated: Mar 30, 2023

Some headlines about how Gen Z are influencing retail's future are becoming more common, but we see a few posts about how attend to the Baby Boomer consumer's needs on this new digital era.

By the fact, Gen Z being digitally experients and has been boosting meaningful changes on the consumer's behavior, the brands and the retailers can't ignore your older buyers.

With 70% of avaiable income in US and an annual expense of US$ 3,2 trillion, the Baby Boomers are ready to spend, and since the begin of COVID-19 pandemic, 47% reported a increase on digital spending.

However,retailers need to understand that Baby Boomes have needs and different preferences and, as the eCommerce technology becomes more advanced, it's essential create some online purchase's expierences useful and more intuitive for this audience.

To efective attend to older buyers, retailers need, firts of all, understand their values, preferences and expectations. Ignore Baby Boomers can result on lose a significate slice of the market and some valuable sale's opportunities.

Nowadays, still common to see headlines about how Generation Z is influencing the future of retail, but the importance of serving Baby Boomers in this new era of the market is increasingly highlighted.

Baby Boomers, who still command much of United State of America's disposable income, represent an important segment for brands and retailers. Even more relevant is the fact that since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, 47% of consumers in this age group have reported an increase in digital spending.

With that in mind, it's critical that brands and retailers create online shopping experiences that meet the needs and preferences of Baby Boomers. As eCommerce technology becomes more advanced, it is necessary for companies to understand the values ​​and expectations of this generation in order to offer useful and intuitive solutions.

Therefore, despite Gen Z being responsible for significant changes in consumer behavior, Baby Boomers are still a crucial segment for the success of companies in today's market.

The current profile of the Baby Boomer consumer.

The Baby Boomer consumer is a generation of great importance for brands and retailers, and understanding their characteristics and preferences is essential to offer the ideal shopping experience. Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, make up the second largest generation in the US, with a total of 69.6 million people.

Many Baby Boomers decided to stay in the workforce longer, increasing their wealth and amassing an average of 12 times the net worth of Millennial households, according to a Lending Tree study.

Despite common stereotypes that older people are technology averse, the vast majority of Baby Boomers use the internet on a daily basis.

At least 86% of them use social networks daily and 92% shop online.

The combination of wealth and excitement with online shopping makes Baby Boomers a prime target audience for brands and retailers.

With the right customer experience, you can increase sales and customer loyalty among this generation.

The most recent data indicate that, in US, Baby Boomers still represent a significant portion of the consumer market. By 2021, the Baby Boomer generation is estimated to represent 28.9% of the US population, or about 95 million people.

Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated technology adoption by Baby Boomers, with a 35% increase in the use of technology for online shopping.

Another important factor to consider is that Baby Boomers have high purchasing power, accounting for about half of all consumer spending in the US.

This means that by offering a personalized and engaging shopping experience for this generation, brands and retailers can significantly increase their sales and customer loyalty.

In summary, Baby Boomers are a valuable generation for the consumer market, with great purchasing power and enthusiasm for online shopping. Providing the ideal customer experience for this generation can bring significant benefits to brands and retailers, increasing sales and customer loyalty.

Baby Boomer Consumer Trends: How can brands and retailers improve their shopping experience?

As the population ages, Baby Boomer shoppers (born between 1946 and 1964) have become an increasingly important audience for brands and retailers. To ensure that this generation can enjoy the benefits of eCommerce, companies need to adapt to their needs and preferences.

Following are five core values ​​that Baby Boomers consider when shopping online:

1- Access to information:

Today, Baby Boomers continue to be careful about how they spend their money, despite still having a higher average income than other generations. According to recent research, around 85% of older shoppers take the time to research products and services online, while 70% look for relevant videos before making a purchase.

To optimize the Baby Boomer shopping experience, it's essential to make the search process as easy and intuitive as possible. This can be achieved through simple site navigation, with a clear user interface that makes it easy to find relevant information such as the search bar, category buttons, product descriptions, customer reviews and other sources of information that support the search.

One effective approach is to offer information on demand through one-on-one consultations with product experts or chatbots. Surprisingly, despite the stereotype that older shoppers prefer personal service, Baby Boomers appreciate the immediacy that chatbots provide.

In truth, they are 24% more likely to use chatbots than Millennials when it comes to adopting this technology. Therefore, offering this option can increase customer satisfaction and facilitate the buying process for this generation.

2- Simplicity:

Today, Baby Boomers are still willing to utilize eCommerce technologies, but they expect a streamlined, user-friendly experience. According to 2022 data, the Baby Boomer generation is responsible for 27% of online purchases in the United States.

To optimize the user experience, it is important that the user interface and navigation on the site are intuitive and simple.

Additionally, implementing high-tech solutions such as augmented reality, voice search, and visual search can increase average order value and revenue, as long as ease of use is prioritized.

By implementing these technologies, it's critical to consider the customer journey and where most buyers will interact with these tools.

It is important to ensure that the tools are easy to find and that the buttons and icons that represent these capabilities are easily interpreted by buyers.

Furthermore, providing user support or instruction such as feature highlights, tips, and demos is critical to simplify training.

Ensuring shoppers of all age groups and experience levels can quickly discover how using eCommerce tools will increase customer engagement and satisfaction, resulting in higher sales.

In 2022, simplifying the user experience is one of the top priorities for eCommerce companies to meet the expectations of Baby Boomers and other generations.

3- Flexibility:

Baby Boomers still represent a significant portion of the population with purchasing power, although they are gradually being outnumbered by younger generations.

According to 2021 data, in the United States, Baby Boomers (people born between 1946 and 1964) still made up about 21% of the total population and held approximately 70% of the nation's net wealth.

It's important to provide them with a positive and hassle-free online shopping experience, as while they may not be as tech-savvy as younger generations, many Baby Boomers have adapted to online shopping during the pandemic.

According to a 2021 survey by the eCommerce platform Shopify, consumers aged between 56 and 75 represent a growing share of the online market, with a 7% increase in purchases made by this group compared to the previous year.

More recent data also indicates that Baby Boomers are spending more and more time online. According to a 2022 report by research and consulting firm eMarketer, Baby Boomers in the United States spend an average of 22 hours a week surfing the internet, with about 25% of that time spent shopping online.

Therefore, it's essential that companies consider the needs and preferences of Baby Boomers when designing their eCommerce platforms, including accessibility features, simple navigation, clear and accurate product information, effective customer support, and secure and reliable payment options.

4- Loyalty:

Based on the latest data, we can see that Baby Boomers' loyalty to brands is still quite strong, with around 71% participating in brand loyalty programs.

However, it is important to highlight that this loyalty is not automatic and depends on factors such as trust and reliability.

To win Baby Boomer loyalty, brands must focus on building customer trust by providing helpful and effective customer service. In addition, it's critical to offer customers multiple ways to view and compare products, especially for more expensive items like electronics, jewelry, and furniture.

Advanced tools, like 360-degree viewing and superzoom are essential to allow customers to examine products in detail before making a purchase.

In addition, including authentic customer reviews on different products, including both positive and negative comments, can help build customer trust in the brand.

Finally, it's crucial to make each step of the purchase process as clear and simple as possible so that customers feel confident and secure in using the website or app.

Informing the customer of the number of steps remaining and at which point their credit card will be charged can help ensure a smooth and enjoyable shopping experience for Baby Boomers.

5- Consistency:

With the advancement of eCommerce, brands and retailers are increasingly investing in creating a seamless omnichannel experience for their customers.

This is not just limited to younger generations such as Millennials and Gen Z, but also Baby Boomers who are avid users of social media, shop online and in-store.

To engage and convert these older shoppers, it's important to create a frictionless and cohesive omnichannel experience.

If a shopper starts to interact with your brand on social media, but the path to purchase on your website is broken, they are unlikely to complete the purchase.

According to recent research, nearly 78% of Baby Boomers are put off when they have to restart a conversation with a brand, which can easily lead to a purchase being abandoned.

Furthermore, each point along the customer journey must flow seamlessly into the next, from search engines to social media and the brand's website.

It's important to provide a direct route to product listing, similar products, and checkout pages, ensuring consistency across all touchpoints.

Despite its population size and level of purchasing power, Baby Boomer shoppers are often overlooked in brands and retailers' customer experience strategies.

Understanding what these shoppers value in a customer experience and making eCommerce technology easy and intuitive to use while providing extensive on-screen support is critical.

That way, it will be possible to attract and convert this audience, boosting loyalty and sales.

There is no need to Segregate Baby Boomer Buyers!

Support the Baby Boomer Generation to Drive Loyalty and Sales.

Although the Baby Boomer population is aging, they still represent a significant segment of consumers who have high purchasing power for brands and retailers.

Unfortunately, they are often overlooked in customer experience strategies in favor of Gen Z and Millennials, who drive eCommerce trends.

Therefore, it is essential to address the preferences of Baby Boomers and understand what they value in an online shopping experience.

Recent data shows that the Baby Boomer generation is still a force to be reckoned with, accounting for 32% of retail sales in 2022 and spending an average of $8,200 per year on online purchases.

That's why it's important to offer them a shopping experience that meets their needs.

To meet the preferences of Baby Boomer shoppers, it's critical to make eCommerce technology easy and intuitive to use, offer customer support and assistance, and provide a variety of payment options, such as credit and debit cards.

In addition, it is essential to ensure that the checkout process is simple and secure, and that information about products and services is clear and accurate.

By adopting these practices, companies will be able to meet the needs of Baby Boomer shoppers, drive customer loyalty and ultimately increase sales.

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