According to a Yes Lifecycle Marketing survey of more than 1,000 consumers to outline the distinct shopper personas for Centennials, Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers over the last decade, marketers have adapted to the boom of technology and the introduction of various new marketing channels, while considering how different generations of consumers are responding to these changes.
Popular views of each generation used to be broadly generalized as: The habits of Baby Boomers and Gen X were considered “the norm,” while Millennials were deemed “digitally savvy,” and Centennials were not yet on the radar. The report shows the current factors that influence their purchase decisions and get actionable strategies on ways to engaging shoppers from each generation. Key findings include:
Considering 2017, the tides have changed. Baby Boomers are spending less as they retire, Generation X is more financially powerful than ever, and Millennials are now building careers and families and hold much higher spending power than they did just a few years ago. And as Centennials enter the mix, shopping behavior has become more differentiated.
The problem that marketers face in effectively communicating with shoppers in every age group is that each generation’s buying habits, from research to purchase, vary significantly due to the evolution of technology over the last decade. Along with that, each generation holds a different set of expectations for what marketers should deliver. Further complicating matters, these expectations vary by channel as well, says the report.
CENTENNIALS: The Experience Generation
This youngest group of shoppers wants authentic brand experiences across all channels, and values quality over price or convenience. As digital natives, Centennials (consumers under the age of 21) don’t engage in the traditional customer service channels (such as phone or email), but they still expect personalized interactions with brands that understand their needs.
MILLENNIALS: Brand Loyalists
Millennials (ages 22 to 37) stick with the companies they know and trust, demonstrating the most brand loyalty of all the generations. This means they are most open to marketing messages – assuming their interactions are personalized, brands stay true to their promises and their customer loyalty is rewarded.
GENERATION X: Bargain Hunters
Often considered the forgotten generation, Generation X (ages 38 to 52) is full of deal seekers. They want good buys on quality products, and they expect a convenient path to purchase. This group of consumers is most likely to be influenced by price and cares less about brand loyalty than other generations.
Gen Xers are a mix of younger and older generations. They place highest value on price (55%), followed by quality (45%) and convenience (23%)
BABY BOOMERS: Price-Savvy Shoppers
Prefer brands that offer wide selections at discounted prices. Not motivated by loyalty programs or unique brand experiences, this generation wants to see a variety of well-priced products that meet their immediate needs.
The report concludes by noting that, with four generations wielding significant spending power yet vastly different shopping habits, marketers need to target each age group with distinct messaging through different channels. While older generations tend to put price, selection and convenience above all else, younger shoppers want personalized, cross-channel experiences. What’s more, go-to market strategies are often driven by stereotypes for each generation, but as it turns out, many of these stereotypes might be misleading, says the report.
To access the full report with more observations and selections, please visit here.