Shopping - from your customer's point of view

It’s nearly the end of 2012, which means that planning for next year is already under way. When it comes to your advertising, you have one goal: to increase your ROI (return on investment). But where do you even start? To create a successful marketing campaign, step one is to understand your customer. Learning about who they are and what they do enables you to effectively intertwine your marketing efforts into their daily lives. Ask yourself: What did we learn from last year? Where will they shop? How will they shop? What influences them?

Let’s take a look into three core groups and how their age affects their shopping habits.

Generation X (25-44)

Gen Xers are typically beginning their careers and starting families. This life stage explains a lot about their shopping habits. Gen Xers agree that, more than anything else, their kids have an impact on the brands they choose. With their children influencing these decisions and their careers starting to take off, they tend to value a good deal and therefore shop at places like Old Navy, Gap and Walmart. With their kids keeping them busy, they are also more likely to order online from those stores than to shop in-store.

Even though they keep prices in mind, their comfort and understanding of digital explains why they are typically among the first of their friends to adopt new technologies. Being a young group, their brand loyalty is not as established as that of their elders; that, paired with their love for the “new,” makes them prime targets for new products. Their on-the-go lifestyle and shopping preferences make it pretty easy to guess how they like their advertising … online. They believe the Internet is the most trusted media source, and Gen Xers find Internet ads amusing. If you are aren’t thinking it by now, you should be … this group lives and breathes digital.

Baby Boomers (45-64)

Baby Boomers tend to be the most established generation. This group has already sailed past the “starting out” stage (families and/or careers) and is now living a little more comfortably. This stability explains a lot about their buying habits. Compared to Gen Xers, Boomers tend to shop in-store more frequently than online. When they do shop online, however, they are making it count. In fact, on average, they spend more money in general – online and in-store – than any other generation.

Because they typically have the money to do so, they are usually spotted shopping at high-end stores like Neiman Marcus, Crate & Barrel, Eddie Bauer, Pottery Barn and Nordstrom. The nature of these stores shows that they are interested in fashionable clothing (and accessories) and home décor. With high-end stores on their radar, it is evident that they have established the brands they are loyal to and are willing to invest in quality over price in many situations. When advertising to Boomers, however, it is important to consider the desires of both genders because couples admit that their spouse has a big impact on the brands they choose. As far as advertising goes, they (quite frankly) find most ads annoying; however, they also find that newspaper ads are informative when searching for information on products and services, as well as bargains. This group might not shop online as often as Gen Xers do; nevertheless, they certainly know how to shop – they are the biggest spenders across the board.

Traditionalists (65+)

The majority of Traditionalists are now entering retirement, or close to it. In the retail category, they prefer shopping at places like Talbots, Lord & Taylor, and Kmart. Their primary expenses, however, are centered on their health. Contrary to their brand loyalty within the retail category, they are not opposed to being first in line to try advanced medicines. But when making their selections, they think that new brands which appear in ads have better quality than those that are not advertised. In other words, advertising gives them confidence in a brand.

This explains why they also enjoy looking at ads and, compared to the younger generations, they do not seem to be annoyed by them in the least. Regardless of where they see ads, though, it is important to note that they primarily make transactions in-store or by phone or mail. The convenience and preference for ordering by mail tells you that they are in the habit of checking their mail daily; therefore, traditional forms of advertising, such as newspapers and direct mail, are surely to attract their attention.

Source: Nielsen Consumer Point

written by: Ashton Norris