BOOMERS AS BUYERS

Much more than being a buyer; it’s the impact the Boomer generation has on the United States economy. Now that is powerful.

If Boomers hold 70% of the wealth, and specifically women influence 80% of the buying, then why are older women ignored by advertisers and customer service reps?

The question I have is: Why aren’t retailers paying more attention to their customers, of any age? The hourly cost for a nice salesperson is the same as one who let’s me know they couldn’t care less.

Recently my husband and I made our first visit to a Dick’s Sporting Goods store for a pair of golf shoes. We were greeted by the store manager who not only directed us to the right area of the huge store, but communicated with the salesperson in that department that we were coming. When we got to the golf area, we were warmly greeted. We walked out with not only the shoes, but my husband got a golf lesson that improved his swing, and I walked out with one great customer experience.

Did it cost Dick’s anymore to pay attention to our needs? No but because they did, it paid off in our buying more items, and the start of what feels like a great relationship. Not sure I can remember one of those in a long time.

A recent conference I attended had a segment focusing on Boomer consumers – yet when the moderator asked how many in the room were currently courting anyone over 50 less than half raised their hand.

The smart presenter offered some helpful guidelines on what we Boomers (I dare say all consumers) might want:

– Tell me how your product or service is worth the money: will it make life better in any way? Does it identify a need in my life and help solve it?
– Is there any personalization? Do you sell the same product the same way to every consumer?

He noted that Boomers are looking for life-stage products. If your product can make us feel validated, connected, rejuvenated, educated or other specific benefits – you’ll capture our attention and our wallets. Lincoln, Apple, the spa industry and the cruise industry were identified as products that understand Boomers and deliver.

Is there any consumer of any age who doesn’t want to feel valuable? I think Dick’s figured out a smile and a salesperson that moves from behind the cash register are both excellent places to begin.

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