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    Baby Boomers’ Shopping Habits: What Do They Want From Brands?

    10 minute read
    by: Madeline Koufogazos
    Baby Boomers’ Shopping Habits: What Do They Want From Brands?

    Baby boomers — those born between 1946 and 1964 — are the second-largest generation. They’re the predecessors to Generation X (Gen X), millennials, Generation Z (Gen Z), and Generation Alpha (Gen Alpha). 

    Their perceived resistance to technological, generational, and cultural changes has led to the dismissive phrase “OK, boomer” — but folks in this generation are more hip than they get credit for.

    Baby boomer shopping habits are undergoing an interesting change as technology becomes an increasingly integral part of commerce.

    Baby Boomers’ Values, Interests, and Shopping Habits 

    Here’s a nuanced breakdown of how baby boomers’ values and interests affect their shopping habits — with tips for adjusting your strategy to meet their evolving needs

    Baby Boomers Value Brand Loyalty 

    Unlike millennialsGen Z, and Gen Alphas, who favor deals over brands, baby boomers are staunch brand loyalists.

    Trust is a critical factor in building brand loyalty — and it pays off. Salsify’s “2024 Consumer Research” report, a survey of 2,700 U.S. and U.K. respondents across generation groups, 34% of respondents will spend more on a product if it has a perceived higher quality, and 73% say that product quality influences their brand loyalty. 

    Market research company Insider Intelligence reports that 65% of surveyees ages 55 and up say that knowing and trusting a brand is their top purchasing influence.  

    If you want to foster brand loyalty with your baby boomer customers, you need to reinforce your brand’s trustworthiness by:

    • Being transparent about pricing and manufacturing costs.
    • Maintaining data accuracy with a product experience management (PXM) solution.
    • Offering a loyalty program that provides discounts, deals, and free shipping, if possible. 

    While millennial, Gen Z, and Gen Alpha shoppers don’t carry the same brand loyalty gene, baby boomers’ allegiances can trickle down in different ways. 

    For example, a Gen Z customer could purchase the same laundry detergent as their baby boomer grandparents because the spring smell reminds them of their childhood. A millennial could purchase the same pie crust that their parents always used for holiday desserts. Gen Alpha could ask for their own copy of a board game that they play with their grandparents. 

    Gaining new customer loyalty isn’t always easy, but strengthening relationships with your already loyal customers will fortify your foundation. 

    Baby Boomers Are Expanding Their Interest in Ecommerce and Social Media 

    Baby boomers’ offspring may be familiar with SOS calls asking how to change a password or reboot devices, but boomers are making unprecedented technological strides.

    According to HubSpot’s “2022 State of U.S. Consumer Trends Report,” a mind-blowing 0% of baby boomers rely on influencers for product recommendations, whereas 55% of Gen Z turn to influencers.

    Additionally, only 4% of baby boomers bought products directly in-app through social commerce, unlike 28% of millennials and Gen Z, and 18% of Gen X, says HubSpot.

    However, Insider Intelligence vouches for a different kind of baby boomer, one who is much more online. In fact, the market research company says there will be 36.4 million baby boomers on social media in 2024. 

    It also forecasts that a whopping 11.3 million customers ages 55 to 64 and 10.8 million customers who are 65 and older will make a social commerce purchase in 2024. 

    The Fashion Network, an online world fashion business news publication, agrees with this assessment. Baby boomers are beginning to step outside the bounds of Facebook, the Fashion Network says, for other social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok. And as they’re becoming more active on social media, they’re also becoming a perfect target for social commerce.

    Few feel represented by social media ads, however, which is discouraging and negatively impacts sales. 

    If you want to improve your marketing to baby boomers, you need to represent their age group better. Run targeted ads with diverse models or conduct a photo submission contest that allows customers to become part of the conversation. 

    The more included they feel, the better your sales will be. 

    Baby Boomers’ Shopping Habits

    Baby boomers’ offspring may be familiar with SOS calls asking how to change passwords or reboot devices, but boomers are making unprecedented technological strides.

    According to Salsify consumer research, 9% of baby boomers rely on influencers for product recommendations, whereas 32% of Gen Zers turn to influencers.

    Additionally, only 12% of baby boomers bought products directly in-app through social commerce, unlike 35% of Gen Xers, 40% of millennials, and 45% of Gen Zers. 

    However, Insider Intelligence vouches for a different kind of baby boomer, one who is much more online. The market research company says there will be 36.4 million baby boomers on social media in 2024. 

    It also forecasts that a whopping 11.3 million customers ages 55 to 64 and 10.8 million customers who are 65 and older will make a social commerce purchase in 2024. 

    The Fashion Network, an online world fashion business news publication, agrees with this assessment.

    Baby boomers are beginning to step outside the bounds of Facebook, the Fashion Network says, for other social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok. And as they’re becoming more active on social media, they’re also becoming a perfect target for social commerce.

    Few feel represented by social media ads, however, which is discouraging and negatively impacts sales. 

    If you want to improve your marketing to baby boomers, you need to represent their age group better. Run targeted ads with diverse models or conduct a photo submission contest allowing customers to join the conversation. 

    The more included they feel, the better your sales will be. 

    Marketing to Baby Boomers Requires a Delicate Touch 

    It would be a shame to miss out on the burgeoning opportunity that baby boomers pose for social commerce.

    As you adjust your marketing to baby boomers, consider their evolving shopping habits and how you can gently guide them down this new path to purchase. 

    Featured images -  Consumer Research 20244
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    Salsify’s Consumer Research Keeps You in the Know

    Year after year, consumers’ shopping behaviors change in new and exciting ways. Download Salsify’s consumer research to stay up to date on the latest emerging trends.

    DOWNLOAD REPORT

    Written by: Madeline Koufogazos

    Madeline Koufogazos (she/her) is an editor and writer at Salsify, based out of Boston. She enjoys sharing her insights on consumer trends and behaviors, commerce, media, pop culture, and travel.

    Salsify’s Consumer Research Keeps You in the Know Year after year, consumers’ shopping behaviors change in new and exciting ways. Download Salsify’s consumer research to stay up to date on the latest emerging trends. DOWNLOAD REPORT