Marketing Strategies for Retail Businesses that Engage Multi-Generational Customers

Marketing Strategies for Retail Businesses that Engage Multi-Generational-Customers

Retailers are facing a bigger marketing challenge today than ever before. What are these monumental challenges you might ask? Retail enterprises now have to market their products and services to multiple generations ranging from Baby Boomers to Millennials, all the way down to the new Generation Z group. All generational markets vary based on consumer preference, yet all of these generations make up a large number of sales for retailers.

Why Is It Important to Reach Multiple Generations?

Why are so many retailers focusing their efforts on marketing to multiple generations when twenty years ago, no one worried about this? Years ago, many retailers would only market to a single generation that provided the most Return on Investment (ROI). However, times have changed. Now, the rapid amount of competition entering the market creates the need for Retailers to stay at the top of their game. In order to do so, Retailers need to market to all demographics that would be interested in their products or services. This means paying attention to all generations, including Gen X and Gen Z who are tech savvy and have great purchasing power alongside Millennials and Baby Boomers.

Similarities Between Generations Pertaining to Retail Shopping Patterns

One of the most important facts a retailer can know about their customers is their shopping patterns. So how do these generations compare when looking at how they shop? Here is some great information:

Both generations love coupons, bargains, and sales:

  • 71% Millennials and 65% Boomers will take advantage of the discount offers more now than they have in the past.
  • 75% of Millennials and 75% of Boomers are more likely to make a purchase if they have a coupon or a discount. (source)

Women are the ones who are making the majority of shopping decisions with both generations:

  • 83% of Millennials and 82% of Boomers have women making the majority of decisions.

Both generations are comfortable with online shopping, researching, and browsing. When it comes to research:

  • 90% of Millennials and 85% of Boomers research a product or service before purchasing! (source)

Differences Between Generational Retail Shopping Patterns

While the Millennials and boomers are very similar, there are some differences that are being seen in their retail shopping habits. These differences include:

They are using digital devices differently!

  • 60% of Millennials use social sites every day versus 28% of Boomers. Also keep in mind that when it comes to 66% of Millennials own a smartphone, while 46% of these Millennials own a tablet.
  • 41% of Millennials get mobile coupons, only 17% of Boomers do (source)

When it comes to how Millennials and Boomers rely on marketing to make decisions, they are very different:

  • 38% of Boomers use print media, while only 19% of Millennials. 90% of Millennials are going to be researching a product online before their purchase in order to research what this product can do for them.
  • 62% of Millennials respond to mobile offers, while only 39% of Boomers, which makes sense as Gen X is a highly technical generation.
  • 82% of Millennials rely on word of mouth, while only 52% of Boomers rely on word of mouth.

One of the biggest differences seen is the demand for technology to help make shopping experiences great for Millennials. On the other hand, Boomers want outstanding customer services while shopping within retail stores.

Gen X and Millennials are responsible for high volumes of sales due to their strong sense of brand loyalty. In fact, when looking at social media, around 29% of their conversations can be considered ‘advocating’ on behalf of a particular retailer’s brand. This goes to show that the impression you make with these generations will make a difference in your overall revenues.

Your in-store experience is another factor that makes a huge difference with these generations. Millennials and Gen X are looking for in-store experiences, great prices, and a good mobile app that attracts them into the store in the first place. In fact, 46% of Millennials state that they choose a mass merchandiser based on them offering the best price. Whereas, Boomers are looking more at the variety of products and customer service.

This means that you cannot expect to utilize the same type of retail marketing techniques to hit every generation. If you were to only use customer service as a marketing tactic to help with your image, Boomers would be the only generation that you would attract. This means that you eliminate Gen X and Z buyers, which are huge markets that go untapped, and unacknowledged.

How to Develop a Balanced Strategy to Target Multi-Generation Engagement

With some similarities and differences identified, there is a key to developing a strategy that will adhere to the needs of all generations.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Have a Multi-Media approach to reach your audience with marketing messages, deals and coupons. For example, send mobile coupons to Gen X and Gen Y, while offering in-store coupons to the Boomers. However, since Gen X and Gen Y make up such a large portion of shoppers, spend extra attention to your mobile marketing efforts to gain their trust and loyalty. Offer online rewards, coupons that are geo-targeted, or points for stopping in your physical store. These are tactics that will create brand loyalty with your Gen X and Millennials customers.

  • Make sure that you Provide a Frictionless Digital Experience. Mobile or digital experiences that are messy or outdated create negative experiences with your tech-savvy generational shoppers.

  • Be sure to Understand your Customers. Do your research on what is working for your customers, no matter what generation they belong to in order to be as effective as possible. What works for your company? This is a question that you should ask yourself when creating any marketing plan.

  • Use Social Media to Cultivate and Strengthen your Brand. Having no online presence is the quickest way to ruin your business. Attract your Gen X, Millennial and Gen Z customers with the power of Social Media Spreadability.

  • Train sales staff on Placing Customer Satisfaction as Top Priority. This is just good business sense, no matter what generation you’re trying to target.

For those retailers wanting to make this a marketing plan that benefits all generations, Gofindo is the Tool for You! With Gofindo, you can create loyalty and rewards programs on a captivating mobile platform that benefits both the Millennials and the Boomers. Make your marketing strategy Frictionless, Effortless and Highly Effective for all generations.