Retailers need to adapt their customer experience to meet the evolving needs of shoppers, young and old

A survey of global shoppers reveals issues that are forcing companies to adapt quickly to deliver better customer experiences.

The survey conducted by Accenture, covered a global sample of 10,096 consumers in Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the UK, and the US who have shopped online and in stores in the last three months.

As always, despite the filtered (online) sample, the research points up some interesting observations. Shoppers worldwide are increasingly on the go, making mobile accessibility a more critical element of the customer experience.2016-02-25_14-54-41

Here are some of the highlighted differences between Millennials and Boomers – but as I will cover later, I suspect the similarities outweigh the differences by a long shot.

  • Millennials were twice as likely to visit retail stores as boomers this year (really?)
  • Three times as many younger consumers planned to increase their smartphone-based purchases compared to boomers
  • Millennials were almost three times as likely as baby boomers to say the mobile channel needed the most improvement
  • Millennials felt that store associates who knew their shopping habits based on¬†their social media activity or showed feedback from their friends for items they were considering was ‘cool’ while boomers felt this was ‘creepy’.

As the data in the chart illustrates, some of the differences between Millennials and Boomers are surprising and slight – but they make good fuel for consultants to sell to naive marketers.

What I found amusing, in a negative way, was the character depictions of the two generations in the chart; Boomers shown as a couple with walking sticks!!?

No wonder marketers have a skewed image of older consumers.