Retailers: Don’t Neglect Baby Boomers
While baby boomers have been surpassed by millennials as the nation’s largest living generation, that doesn’t mean they should be neglected when it comes to e-commerce. With the changing buyer demographic, brands are setting aside only 10 percent of their marketing budgets to the aging group of baby boomers, those born between the mid-1940s to mid-1960s. Not surprisingly, companies are setting aside more than 50 percent of their budget to target millennials. A few key statistics, however, showcase why baby boomers should still be top of mind with online retailers:
- The average purchase for a baby boomer is $203, which is $30 more than the average millennial purchase.
- Baby boomers outspend every other generation by $400 billion annually, providing over 50 percent of U.S. consumption.
- Twenty-six percent of baby boomers dedicate 10-plus hours to online shopping every month; however, 85 percent of this group abandons their online shopping carts due to shipping-related reasons.
With the $13.5 trillion baby boomers spend each year, retailers need to shift their marketing efforts towards this important market segment. High shipping costs and late communication of shipping fees are just a few of the culprits that lose baby boomers during the purchasing process — that’s billions of dollars down the drain for retailers. Here are a few ways that retailers can even the playing field when marketing to this generation:
- Free Shipping: 61 percent of baby boomers would increase cart size for free express shipping. Tip: Introduce a qualifying minimum spend that’s reasonable for both you and your baby boomer customers, and have this offer clearly stated on your e-commerce site.
- Shipping Choices: 89 percent of baby boomers want shipping choices. Tip: Consider using a multicarrier shipping platform to help you automatically rate shop between major carriers so you can introduce new shipping options faster and at a lower cost.
- Shipment Tracking: 95 percent of baby boomers want to track their shipments. Tip: Communicate shipping updates to your baby boomer customers at post-purchase by enlisting the help of automation tools. Allow customers to track their shipments without ever leaving your e-commerce site.
Optimizing the Customer Experience
Beyond shipping method, an on-time delivery is crucial. Certain multicarrier shipping software platforms allow retailers to “Advance Date Shop” their carriers to optimize carrier information. Retailers can input their carrier’s special conditions, like holiday schedules, expanded timeframes and rates, to provide on-time delivery to customers. Knowing this information beforehand allows retailers to keep their customers informed about shipping status and provides accurate information on when customers can expect to receive their package.
To summarize, baby boomers, while an aging demographic, should not be forgotten when it comes to marketing for retailers. Dollars spent on targeting this age group should remember the power of shipping when it comes to e-commerce. Low shipping rates, shipping choices and delivery information are all crucial elements for baby boomers in the online purchasing process. Using shipping software can optimize the customer experience, boost business for retailers and improve customer satisfaction. From using the lowest negotiated rates with carriers to final-mile delivery and taking advantage of special conditions, retailers can guarantee orders are delivered to customers in a cost-efficient and convenient manner.
Tim Casey is the vice president of product at ProShip, a Neopost company, and a global provider of logistics software and product solutions.