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Top Ten Baby Boomer Shopping Habits
While millennial consumers have been a hot topic over the past few years, baby boomers have continued to be a major contributor to retail sales. With greater disposable income and purchasing clout, consumers aged 52 to 65 have proven to be truly valuable customers. This is especially true for brick-and-mortar retailers, as research has shown that 84% of baby boomers prefer to shop in-store.
For retailers looking to more effectively engage with this valuable consumer base, COLLOQUY recently published an insightful new report that outlines key shopping habits of the baby boomer generation.
First, don’t by fooled into thinking that these customers are stuck in their ways: COLLOQUY found boomers to be the only demographic that doesn’t prioritize buying the brands they used growing up. They are also less swayed by personal influencers: just 12% said they rely on family or friends to help them decide on a purchase. And while 84% of boomers said they prefer to shop in-store—only 27% consider shopping to be a “great way to relax” and only 37% said they would likely look around the store for new products.
But that doesn’t mean the retail environment doesn't matter to baby boomers! More than any other age group, boomers were most likely to write off a retailer because of a bad shopping experience: if the sales associate didn’t “appreciate their business” or if the store was messy, for example. The retail attributes they value most? An accessible location, easy-to-navigate layout and a clear return policy. More than anything, retailers can better connect with this valuable consumer base by creating a convenient, uncluttered in-store environment that offers clear solutions.
Retail Sales Disappoint In December
While American consumer confidence has risen over the past few weeks, a new end-of-year sales report is painting a bleaker picture of the US retail marketplace. Overall, retail sales failed to meet forecasts in December—but the new report brings good news for online retail, which posted significant gains in the last month of the year. As this trend continues, it’s important for retailers of all types to have a full picture of the market landscape so that they can better understand how and why consumers are shopping where they do.
Retail sales in the US rose just 0.6% in December, lagging behind market forecasts that expected to see 0.8% in growth. The numbers look even more disappointing when you exclude auto sales from that overall number, leaving an increase of just 0.2%. Though the overall numbers are bleak, certain retail types are faring better than others. While department stores saw a 0.6% decline in sales in December, online sales actually grew by 1.3%. This reflects a larger trend for 2016, which saw department store sales decline by 8.4% for the full year—and online retail sales increasing by 13.2%.
This growing shift towards online shopping may come as a surprise to many retailers. A new study from Capgemini’s Digital Transformation Institute, a multinational management consulting company, found that 80% of retail executives report that they “believe in the sanctity of physical stores”—but only 45% of retail shoppers report feeling the same. But that doesn’t mean it’s time for brick-and-mortar retailers to throw in the towel! The study also found that nearly 70% of consumers around the world still value seeing and feeling products in store before buying—though with the caveat that they would like to see more digital features and improvements to the in-store experience. As we head into 2017, the retail focus must be on finding new ways to add (and communicate!) the tangible benefits of in-store shopping.
Emerging Global Mattress Market Trends
Technavio, a leading global technology research and advisory company, recently published a report of the Global Mattress Market—offering valuable analysis and forecasting for the industry as a whole. According to the report, the global mattress market is forecasted to see a compound annual growth rate of almost 7% over the next four years. While innerspring mattresses continue to lay claim on the majority of the market share (and are expected to stay that way), Technavio pinpointed three emerging trends that will be driving the mattress market in the coming years. For retailers looking to stay ahead of the curve, these growing product segments could be the key to success.
According to Technavio, retailers should be paying close attention to the growing consumer demand for customized mattresses, eco-friendly bedding and multi-functional sleep systems. We’ve seen an increased focus on personalized comfort over the years, with major mattress manufacturers offering more customization in terms of size, shape and design configurations—including dual-comfort options. For retailers looking to invest in advanced customization, Spaldin’s new Bespoke Collection and Reverie’s innovation DreamCell technology both offer unique takes on this growing trend.
As the interest in environmentally-friendly products continues to grow, so too does the demand for eco-friendly bedding. Whether customers are looking to minimize their exposure to harmful chemicals or are simply intrigued by the unique all-natural components, environmentally-conscious mattresses offer a wide range of appealing benefits. For retailers looking to offer truly eco-friendly options, both OMI and Naturepedic produce high-quality mattress and bedding options that carry stringent organic certifications.
In today’s fast-paced world, more consumers are interested in making the most of every home decor decision—including their sleep system. As such, the concept of a “multi-functional” bed has become increasingly appealing—with a number of transformative bedding accessories offering home-automation integration or delivering space-saving storage. Moving forward, the demand for mattresses that can be used with such technologies is forecasted to grow even greater.
American College of Physicians Updates Insomnia Treatment
Amidst mounting evidence of many negative side-effects of popular sleep medications, the American College of Physicians now recommends that cognitive behavioral therapy should be the first line of treatment for insomnia. While sleep aids may offer immediate relief to nighttime insomnia, they can also cause serious drowsiness and memory gaps during the day—which can be especially dangerous for older users. While many sleep meds simply mask the problem, therapy can work to address the underlying causes of insomnia—helping patients develop valuable habits and strategies to maintain better “sleep hygiene.” This reflects an ongoing trend towards more holistic sleep solutions, which places greater emphasis on creating a more relaxing environment with high-quality products. For insomnia sufferers who are looking to revamp their nighttime habits, retailers can be extremely helpful in guiding them to the right products for their specific needs—whether they're looking for a more supportive mattress or more temperature regulating sheets.
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