According to a new Neustar survey, conducted with the e-tailing group with 50% male and 50% female shoppers who spent at least $250 online, purchased online at least four times annually, and owned smartphones, the biggest differences between Millennials and Baby Boomers are in the following online behaviors:
Expected Online Behaviors of Smartphone Users (By Age)
Research products online
Purchase products online
View retail ads on a mobile device
Use social media on a mobile device
Access mobile coupons to redeem in retail store
Recent research shows that mobile email opens have surpassed desktop opens for the first time, says the report. Smartphone purchases will also soon surpass desktop purchases, says the report,with 49.3% of conversions taking place on smartphones now. And it’s not just Millennials who are driving this trend. According to the report, shoppers over 55 years of age reported that they plan to click on more mobile ads and shop more on mobile devices this year.
While all age groups are expected to increase their mobile activity, there are still some stark differences in how Millennials use smartphones, according to the report:
While both Millennials and Baby Boomers use smartphones to research products, Millennials are much more likely to rely on social influence and digital word-of-mouth, says the report:
Brad Jefferson, CEO and Co-founder, Animoto, pointed out that “… the study found that 76% of Milliennials follow companies or brands on YouTube… 84% follow brands on Facebook… nearly half follow brands on Twitter… building a marketing strategy with a social focus is incredibly effective when targeting this audience… especially… to foster sharing and engagement… "
There has definitely been more media hype and recent research geared towards Millennials than Boomers. According to a 2015 report from the Pew Research Center, Millennials are the largest demographic generation in the U.S. with 75.3 million people. Ever-changing technology has also impacted how Millennials shop and interact with brands.
However, evolving technology has changed Boomer shopping behavior as well. Boomers still account for the majority of American wealth; 70% of the nation’s disposable income comes from this demographic. Baby Boomers also account for $230 billion in sales of consumer packaged goods, according to a 2012 study from Nielsen.
32% of Americans ages 55 and up research products online with smartphones. According to recent MarketingSherpa research, Americans aged 55-64 prefer to communicate with companies through email more than any other channel.
Lisa Joy Rosner, Chief Marketing Officer, Neusta, concludes that "… boomers may not be digital natives… but as digital immigrants they certainly don’t shy away from embracing ecommerce and online offers… “
According to the Neustar study, 75% of Millennials and 78% of Boomers report having been moved to begin researching a product or specific retailer by in-store visits to a retailer, with promotions (coupons/discounts) as a close second with 73% of Millennials and 76% of Boomers.
Mobile is not the only device used to begin a consumer's product search. 67% of Millennials and 64% of Boomers admit television and radio started their search, and 58% of Millennials, and 59% of Boomers, said newspapers/magazines were instrumental in starting their search. Also, more than half of Millennials (51%) and Boomers (57%) said direct mail/print catalogs/circulars started their search.
The report says that Boomers rely on online research before making purchases and marketers can use this information to design marketing tactics, such as PPC and SEO, to engage with consumers at the right time in their purchasing journey.
Rosner concludes that "… marketers aren’t reaching out to Boomers enough on digital platforms… as much as to other demographics… Boomers aren’t blind to the efficiencies of digital channels… (they) just need to engage with Boomers in a way that resonates… “
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