6 Ways Retailers Can Profit From Baby Boomer Customers

Discover how your retail store should be selling and marketing to baby boomers during this holiday shopping season and beyond.

The buzz these days is all about the Millennials. But while this age group is an important one for retailers to capture, it’s not the only demographic that matters. Four out of five retailers say at least half their sales come from Baby Boomers, Chain Store Age reports.

There may be more Millennials than Boomers overall, but the Boomers still hold 70 percent of the nation’s wealth. This holiday shopping season and beyond, how can your retail store attract more Baby Boomer customers? Here are six tips.

Selling and Marketing to Baby Boomers

  1. Get online. Maybe they used to let their fingers do the walking through the Yellow Pages, but today Baby Boomers research stores and products online. Get your business listed on local search directories like Google My Business so Boomers can find you easily. But also know that Boomers use online information a little differently than Millennials. While Millennials might expect to engage with your store online, Boomers are more likely to go online to look up your phone number or see what kinds of sales you’re having. Then they’ll call you or come in. Make sure your business website and social media pages include your phone number, address, hours of operation and other information people need to actually visit your store.
  2. Be social. When it comes to social media, focus your Boomer-marketing efforts on Facebook, most Boomers’ favorite social site. Facebook ads can be an effective way to target Boomers in your neighborhood.
  3. Reward loyalty. More than younger generations, Boomers tend to be loyal to brands and stores they like. Implementing a loyalty program is a great way to get Boomer customers back to your store again and again. Choose one that also helps you gather valuable data about their shopping habits and preferences; you can use the info to develop more targeted marketing.
  4. Offer deals. Boomers are highly motivated by savings. A study by Synchrony Financial found this age group is 75 percent are more likely to purchase if they have a coupon or loyalty discount. That doesn’t mean you need to discount your prices constantly. Holding less frequent sales and making them more of an “event” (think Nordstrom’s approach to sales) can pay off big with this age group.
  5. Provide the kind of service they expect. While Millennial customers get excited about being checked out via iPhone, Boomers care more about interacting with store clerks. Make sure your store is adequately staffed and that your salespeople are genuinely welcoming and helpful. Nothing turns a Boomer off more than being ignored by two salesclerks chatting or with their heads buried in mobile devices.
  6. Play it safe. No matter how healthy you are, aging brings physical challenges. Make your store welcoming for Boomers with good lighting so weak eyes can read price tags, nonskid or carpeted flooring to reduce the risk of slip and falls, wider aisles for mobility devices, and a few comfortable benches or chairs for shoppers to rest.

By making a few simple changes to your store and your marketing, you can get big results from Boomer customers.

Baby Boomers 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.