How Retailers Have Turned the Boomer Woman Into the Ideal Multichannel Shopper
It's Time to Reap Your Rewards Online
Because traditional retailers have ignored her real interests and needs, the resourceful boomer woman has found — and helped build — another industry in response: online shopping.
Two-thirds of boomer women are buying clothes online, and 13 percent are buying clothes online exclusively. Those rude sales associates have helped this alternate channel grow strong.
In a cosmetic survey by VibrantNation.com, we learned that more boomer women are buying beauty products online than in department stores.
These women love buying shoes at Zappo's; they'd rather buy bathing suits and bras online at sites like Herroom.com; and they've turned eBay into a major fashion outlet. Don't underestimate how much women want to avoid public dressing rooms as they age.
Another NRF panelist, Deborah Weinswig, equity research analyst at Citigroup, who is responsible for directing her firm's stock analysis in the retail sector, praised retailers who are practicing multichannel marketing that aligns communication between in-store kiosks with online offerings. She also reminded the audience that some of the retailers who are doing best online are among those who are doing best by boomer women — like Nordstrom, which now generates almost 10 percent of its total sales online, followed closely by Saks.
Finally, don't think of the internet only as a way to sell product. It may also be the best way to market your products, too. A recent study from iVillage confirmed what our own research has long shown: For women of all ages, referrals are the most important influence on purchase decisions, and referrals online are as valuable as any others (as long as they come from other women in communities online). This doesn't mean Facebook or Twitter, but it does mean those true communities online where women can rely on other "women like them."