By Rieva Lesonsky
While we’ve talked a lot about appealing to younger generations of buyers, if you’re a retailer, you don’t want to overlook baby boomers. While millennials may get all the attention, boomers still control 70% of the wealth in the U.S. In fact, four out of five retailers report half their sales come from boomers, according to Chain Store Age.
And a whopping 84% of baby boomers prefer shopping in a brick-and-mortar store, adds Chain Store Age. Why? They think it’s important to be able to see and touch merchandise before they decide to make a purchase.
So, how do you attract boomers? And then get them to come back?
What matters to boomers
Boomers do not like to browse—only 27% think shopping is relaxing. Most go to a store, knowing what they want. No matter what they’re shopping for, whether it’s clothes, gifts, toys or other goods, they’re purpose-oriented and want to quickly find the merchandise they’re looking for. Your stores need to be easy to navigate. They don’t like to spend a long time waiting in line to pay. Giving your staff tablets equipped with POS systems, speeds up the check-out process.
Looking for deals. Boomers may have money in the bank, but they’re value-conscious. They’ll be loyal to your store, if you offer if you offer them discounts and deals. Almost 70% of boomers will join loyalty programs because they are “economical.” You should set up a loyalty program that includes a physical loyalty card for those boomers who are more comfortable with that option. Use it to send special offers and deals.
Researchers. While they like to shop in-store, boomers like to research products online, before making a purchase. They’ll visit your website to get your address and phone number, then call or come into the store. Make sure your website is up-to-date, mobile-friendly and lists your address, contact information and store hours. .
Knowledge. Since they come into your store fairly well-informed, they may know more about your inventory than your staff does. A report from Oracle says about 30% of them think store employees don’t know enough about store merchandise, and 31% want your employees to use mobile devices, so they can look up product information when asked. Equip your employees with tablets or smartphones so they can do quick research or check stock levels.
Welcoming environment. You’ll need signage (did you know you can find store signs on Alibaba.com?) that’s easy to see from the street so they can easily find your store and get in and out quickly. Keep your store uncluttered, so they can easily move around. Non-skid flooring and seats for shoppers or their companions to sit and rest are also welcome sights for baby boomer shoppers.