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The current obsession with Millennial consumer habits is misleading. The countless articles, studies, and thought pieces dedicated to picking apart the Millennial psyche make it seem like they’re the only generation worth considering. This couldn’t be further from the truth, especially when it comes to ecommerce.
Let’s take a break from talking about Millennials for a bit and turn the spotlight on an almost equally formidable consumer group—baby boomers. With a population of over 75 million strong in the United States, this generation controls 70% of the nation’s disposable income. They’re a consumer powerhouse…and they’re increasingly interested in online shopping.
A staggering 92% of Baby Boomers shop online. There are a few things unique to this generation that can offer some valuable insights as to what they’re buying. For one, Baby Boomers are particularly interested in health products and spend 3.4% more on health foods, fitness equipment, and vitamins than their parents’ generation did. Older Boomers might be turning to the web for products and solutions that will save them time and effort in their daily lives, while those on the brink of retirement could be seeking out hobby supplies and travel gear.
Boomers spend an average $203 on each online purchase, far surpassing the average spend of their Millennial counterparts. This indicates that the former generation is not just active online but is serious about the purchases they make there.
Trust and peer opinions are extremely important to Baby Boomers. Nearly half of all Baby Boomers will search recommendations and reviews online or conduct research on a company’s website before making a purchase. This means that businesses hoping to convert Baby Boomers from leads into customers should encourage current customers to leave reviews and testimonials online.
Once convinced of a product’s merit, the average Boomer will complete their purchase using a PC or laptop, with a mere 4% of Boomers preferring to shop via mobile device. For many Baby Boomers, the customer journey doesn’t stop here. This generation is known for valuing good customer service and personal communication, so online sellers can benefit from having real representatives available to assist shoppers.
The Baby Boomers online shopping are not overly concerned with price. Rather, 77% will purchase a product based on its value. If you can communicate the benefits and value of your products effectively, you’ll be able to appeal to this age group. Implementing an easy-to-understand loyalty program can be a great way to keep Baby Boomers coming back for more.
60% of Baby Boomers read blog posts every week, while 70% watch online videos. A merchant that prioritizes content marketing will be able to create a relationship with Boomers, gaining valuable mental real estate and a reputation as a trustworthy, authoritative source of information.
While a whopping 82% of Millennials make purchasing decisions influenced by the opinions of family, social media, and friends, the same is only true for just over half of Baby Boomers, who tend to be more influenced by retail websites themselves.
Boomers, again, are all about customer service, while Millennials are more worried about ensuring they can use technology for an easy, streamlined shopping experience. If you’re targeting Baby Boomers, keep your website engaging, user-friendly, and interesting while focusing on customer experience to help increase brand loyalty and customer lifetime value.
It’s definitely possible for ecommerce businesses to appeal to both Millennials and Baby Boomers without alienating either. Both generations love sales, bargains, and coupons, with 75% of both Millennials and Boomers agreeing that they’re more likely to purchase if they have a coupon or loyalty discount.
Baby Boomers present an excellent opportunity for your ecommerce business. With more purchasing power than any other generation, Baby Boomers are worth any extra effort it might take to deliver what they’re looking for.
Miva offers a flexible and adaptable ecommerce platform that evolves with businesses and allows them to drive sales, maximize average order value, cut overhead costs, and increase revenue. Miva has been helping businesses realize their ecommerce potential for over 20 years and empowering retail, wholesale, and direct-to-consumer sellers across all industries to transform their business through ecommerce.