How Retailers Can Reconnect With Boomer Consumers
Lincoln Motor Company does this incredibly well. A luxury, high-end brand, it's positioned itself not as a fuddy-duddy, staid limousine but as a performance car. The Lincoln MKS is for people who want luxury but love the "vroom." That wasn't the case 20 years ago. It was always luxury, luxury, luxury and comfort, comfort, comfort. Lincoln conscientiously made the decision to stay connected and has molded its pursuit in accordance to how boomers see themselves.
Staying in touch with boomers’ needs means talking directly to them. In a survey we conducted last year, baby boomers say they value free shipping above any other type of offer. It was chosen four to one against the next closest offer, such as a 20 percent discount. Free shipping was four times more valued, making it almost a barrier to entry if a product didn't have it.
Another thing we found is that boomers still have a desire for catalog shopping, but how they use catalogs has changed dramatically. Sending boomers a catalog inspires them to go into the store. They want to use it in a radius around the store, making it less important as a distance shopping vehicle but more valuable as a driver of brick-and-mortar traffic.
And another crucial thing to remember: Trust is as important to boomers as anything. While Generation Y is more interested in peer opinions, boomers want the good and bad from as many sources as possible before making a purchase decision. Retailers need to be willing to put up honest product reviews to get more sell through with boomers.
Whether online or for a brick-and-mortar store, retailers should throw out all the standard rules and continually refine their approach to acquiring boomers. Increase the font size on tags for items in-store. Create more contrast on a website for those whose eyes may be weaker. Make headlines more legible and declutter landing pages to gain greater conversion rates with boomers.