Demographics Secrets Revealed: The Ultimate Guide for Retail Marketing to 4 Generations of Shoppers

Generational Marketing Tips and Examples

Retail is undergoing major transformations as the habits of millennials, Generation X and baby boomers change with age. (And don’t forget about Generation Z, the group right behind the millennials). What retail tactics work with each of these demographics? Yes Lifecycle Marketing studied shopper behavior in-depth to find out. Here’s your ultimate guide to retail marketing for each age group.

Generational Marketing Tips and Examples

Generation Z (aged 21 and under)

Keywords associated with this generation might include “authentic,” “quality” and “personalization.” Dubbed Centennials by Yes Lifecycle Marketing, this generation cares more about quality than any other. Quality is the most important factor in brand loyalty; brand prestige is important, too. Centennials don’t hunt for bargains, but will hunt to find the perfect, customized product. They also expect your store to understand their needs and personalize communications

Reach this group with social media, which you can use to promote events and experiences in your store. Email matters much less to this generation than others, but triggered emails that are personalized are more likely to get results.

Millennials (aged 22 to 37)

The keywords associated with this generation include “loyalty” and “personalization.” This generation is the most brand-loyal of the four. Loyalty rewards programs, company reputations and company philosophies drive their loyalty. Price and quality carry equal weight with millennial shoppers; 34 percent say quality matters most, while the same percentage say price matters most.

Reach this group with personalized marketing messages and communications. Be sure to stay true to your brand and keep your promises. Instituting a loyalty rewards program is also a good ides. Fifty percent of millennials say loyalty points influenced their most recent purchasing decision.

Generation X (aged 38 to 52)

Keywords for this demographic might include “deals,” “quality,” “convenience.” Price is the biggest motivating factor for Generation X shoppers: Some 85 percent say discounts influenced their most recent purchase. They also care about quality and convenience. What don’t they care about? Brand loyalty. If you can offer deals, quality and convenience, they’ll switch to your store in a snap.

Reach this group with email — the method 59 percent of them prefer for marketing and communication — and send it at the times they are likely to be checking email (morning, mid-afternoon, lunch hour). Social media marketing and online display advertising matter less to them.

Baby Boomers (aged 53+)

Keywords for this group include “price,” “convenience,” “variety.” Selection and price, not loyalty rewards or “brand experiences,” influence the boomers’ shopping decisions. They care more than any other generation about getting discounts, and their recent purchases were most influenced by convenience. Half of boomers described themselves as “price savvy.” However, your store also needs a wide variety of products in order to appeal to this generation.

Reach this group with email and direct mail. Fifty-nine percent of boomers value both means of marketing communications, while just 19 percent care about social media marketing.

No one store will appeal to all four generations, of course, but by understanding the generations you hope to attract, you can boost your chances of getting them in the door.

Demographics Photo via Shutterstock

Rieva Lesonsky Rieva Lesonsky is a Columnist for Small Business Trends covering employment, retail trends and women in business. She is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Visit her blog, SmallBizDaily, to get the scoop on business trends and free TrendCast reports.