Top Ten Baby Boomer Shopping Habits Retailers Can’t Afford to Ignore

COLLOQUY, a leading provider of loyalty marketing research, recently published a report about generational shopping differences that highlights the importance of the baby boomer demographic. While millennials have captured most of the attention from brand marketers as of late, the new "Shopping by Generation" report reveals that baby boomers (consumers aged 52 to 65) actually have greater disposable income and far more purchasing clout.

“Retailers who fail to recognize issues uniquely important to baby boomers could watch those shoppers walk out the door empty-handed,”COLLOQUY editor-in-chief Jeff Berry explained.

10 shopping habits that make baby boomers different:

  1. Baby boomers are more demanding than consumers in Gen X (age 36 to 51), Gen Y (age 22 to 35) and Gen Z (age 4 to 21). In a LoyaltyOne survey of U.S. and Canadian consumers, baby boomers were the most likely to write off a retailer if a sales associate didn’t appreciate their business, if a store was messy and if returns were a hassle.
  2. Shopping isn’t relaxing for baby boomers. Just 27% agreed with the statement: “I think shopping is a great way to relax.” The boomer score is well below the other age groups.
  3. Baby boomers want convenience. LoyaltyOne survey results show boomers place higher value than all other age groups on an easy-access location, an easy-to-navigate store and a clear return policy.
  4. Baby boomers know the price. They scored higher than all the younger demographics for having a good idea of how much they pay for food and packaged goods.
  5. Baby boomers are confident shoppers. Just 12% of boomers said they rely on family and friends to help them decide on a purchase.
  6. At 84%, baby boomers easily topped all survey groups in saying they prefer to shop in-store.
  7. Just 37% of baby boomers said they’re likely to look around a store for new products, scoring well below millennials on browsing.
  8. Baby boomers aren’t stuck in the good old days. They are the only generation that doesn’t prioritize buying the brands they used while growing up.
  9. When purchasing something with which they have little experience, baby boomers, at 48%, are twice as likely as millennials to be influenced by the popularity of the item.
  10. Nearly seven out of 10 baby boomers (69%) said the word that best describes their membership experience in a loyalty program is “economical,” versus 52% for millennials.

The 23-page “Shopping by Generation” report is available to download free of charge.

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About COLLOQUY: Now in its 27th year, COLLOQUY is a leading publishing, education and research practice, bringing together loyalty practitioners from around the world. A pioneer in the industry, COLLOQUY is the first publication dedicated expressly to the art and science of loyalty marketing and has since become the go-to resource for loyalty intelligence. Today, COLLOQUY engages and educates loyalty marketers with its magazine, e-newsletter and timely and comprehensive loyalty-marketing website. COLLOQUY delivers industry-leading loyalty benchmarking reports and educational workshops, webinars and speeches. COLLOQUY is an independently operated division of LoyaltyOne.