Forgotten Baby Boomers

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Author:Shannon Quilty (Partner Senteo)
Source: SCRUSSIA Magazine

While we’ve been trying to untangle the mysteries of Millenials and Gens X, Y and Z, the largely forgotten Baby Boomers have been shopping.

Shannon Quilty, reminds us that this segment is still a vital part of society and commerce whose loyalty is earned through transformational relationships rather than points and awards.

The Forgotten Baby Boomer In the rush to understand the alphabet Generations (X,Y,Z) and those mysterious Millennials, the Baby Boomers have been quietly increasing their shopping activity. Is this a trend or has it consistently been taking place right in front of our very own eyes? Baby Boomers are shopping!

Here’s the thing – the Baby Boomers may not be a sexy as Generation X, Y and Z or as scintillatingly complicated as the Millennials (we’ll call them M’s) but they are still growing in numbers and becoming increasingly affluent as a group due to inheritance (estimated to equal 8.4 trillion by 2030) and the money they have back in their wallets when their X,Y,Z and M’s eventually leave home. They are living longer, in better health than ever before and, while value oriented, not necessarily price driven. Best of all, while they may do their research on-line, a high majority still shop in store.

So how do we engage them…what is it they want from their shopping experience? Some of it is relatively simple: A clean, well laid out store environment, clear policies on returns and a website that doesn’t yell at them. They like loyalty programs for their economic benefits, however, they become desensitized to them over time in the absence of a true relationship.

Which brings me to the most essential piece of the puzzle – a well-trained staff motivated to show sincere interest in the quality of interactions and relationships with customers. This is the often forgotten cornerstone of any successful commercial enterprise. You can do all the above and more but if your staff recoil when asked a question, are discourteous when they must look up from their phones or aren’t knowledgeable of their offering, the rest doesn’t hold up and the Baby Boomer will quickly write you off. They value and are loyal to relationships – learn their objectives, aspirations – what they hope to gain from your offering. Be ready to provide solutions, guidance and a smile.

Your customer should walk away feeling positive, valued and even transformed by the interaction – emotions that will inspire loyalty far more effectively than discounts, points or awards. This is the way forward for X, Y, Z and M’s as well but most particularly Baby Boomers.

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