Buying habits by age?

Management & Growth, Marketing, News,

It’s no surprise that buying habits vary amongst differing age groups, but a detailed look at the purchasing behaviours of the four key groups may be helpful to any business owner. A recent article by Pragma Consulting, specialists in airport retail, outlined the importance of understanding these behaviours for their clients, and evolving consumer trends, as follows:

Baby Boomers

Most Baby Boomers, typically born between 1946-1964, don’t find shopping relaxing, and either don’t enjoy browsing for new products or don’t need to search for deals given their high level of disposable income. They browse online but prefer making a purchase in-store.

Gen Xs

Born between 1965-1980, Gen Xs tends to shop more conservatively and are more sceptical of marketing than the other groups. They thoroughly research before purchasing and are receptive to personalised emails. Both in-store and online shopping are popular with this generation.

Millennials / Gen Ys

Millennials, born between 1981-1997, are constantly online, even while shopping in-store, and seek a seamless, omnichannel experience. They see shopping as a social event but value consumer reviews above those of people they know.

Gen Zs

Gen Zs are the youngest consumer group, born between 1998-2010, and use the web and social media to get inspired and research products, but still enjoy the social aspect of shopping at a physical location. Technology drives their buying habits, and they look for store experiences that recognise that.

The last two categories, Millenials and Gen Zs, are driving a new type of shopping experience, that combines more digital emphasis, with omnichannel strategies. Pragma give several examples, including a virtual food hall at Raleigh-Durham International Airport, allowing customers to order and collect food entirely online, and Chanel’s No5 Spaceship at Heathrow Airport.

How is this relevant?

The buying characteristics of these groups will not apply purely to airport retail, but will also apply in some form to any buying decision they make.

As our economy becomes more challenging over the coming months, taking some time to consider these buying habits and the balance between your physical and online activities may give you a sales edge you hadn’t utilised before. Can you provide online resources or tools to enable potential customers to influence them in your favour?

For example, if your target market is the cash-rich Baby Boomers, being entirely online may not bring you the sales volumes you’re looking for. John Lewis have an incredibly successful website, but are maintaining the majority of their physical stores for a reason!

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