As a result, more Boomers are spending less time in crowds. While brick and mortar remains the preferred way to shop, time spent in-store is down, and with it product discovery. Luckily, according to IRI, age is not a barrier to e-commerce, as more than a third of Boomers have tried online shopping in recent months. Searchability can support e-com sales and new product trial. Furthermore, COVID-19 has tipped the buying decisions of 25% of Baby Boomers to Price/What’s on Sale.
• 20% of Boomers are buying more value-size items to save money;
• 17% are buying fewer treats to save money; and
• 16% are switching some purchases to a different retailer because it has lower prices.
Boomers are spending less time in store than ever. For example, 47% said they are primarily focused on buying specific items they had pre-planned to buy and 39% had a mental or written shopping list of specific items to buy and spent little/no time browsing. Moreover, just 14% browsed store aisles looking at options and different products to try. As a result, Boomers spent just 29 minutes shopping for groceries on their last regular in-store trip, according to IRI.
With an emphasis on speed and familiarity, how can marketers attract Baby Boomers? IRI has several suggestions:
Focus on distinctive value. Despite their relative wealth versus younger generations, a sizeable portion of Baby Boomers are facing disrupted economic situations that leave them cautious and worried, and brand decisions are increasingly being made based on price. Prioritize delivering value that is price + a differentiating benefit.
Offer a bridge to wellness. Baby Boomers are not only at a higher risk for COVID-19 infection, but they are also holding back on rushing back into gyms and fitness classes. Use their preference for brick and mortar shopping to help them better support their wellness (e.g., promotion of immune-boosting foods, curated wellness food and product displays, and self-care ideas).
Deliver on Baby Boomers’ need for new ideas and inspiration. Use both in-store and online resources to deliver ideas for new, healthy ways to prepare food – including both recipes and preparation techniques (especially health / wellness focused ideas). Consider gamification of loyalty / frequent shopper programs that provides additional “idea” rewards for shopping.
Improve e-commerce search and discovery tools as a gateway to product exploration. With Baby Boomers focused on getting in and out of brick and mortar stores quickly, retailers and grocery e-commerce apps have an opportunity to refocus some of people’s neglected browsing behavior to online, with improved (and highly intuitive) search and discovery functionality. Baby Boomers may not be digital natives, but nearly 30% have done their grocery shopping online and there is an opportunity to solidify its place in their ongoing grocery shopping routines, notes IRI.