Retailers focussed on millennials should consider the needs of the remaining 70 percent of population

The millennial generation may be driving retailers to keep up with their tech savvy speed and connectivity, but retailers must build an environment that works for all generations.

No doubt millennials represent a sizeable amount of shoppers today, but concentrating all efforts on them can cause retailers to miss out on key customers who have a passion to shop and willingness to spend, according to this article in Retail Customer Experience.

While many retailers cater to millennials with mobile apps, digital coupons or social media promotions, some are now taking steps to shift their efforts to accommodate all generations with a special focus on older consumers. As I wrote here, 95% of older customers would be disloyal to their favourite retailer if a competitor understood them better.

The AF Brands app helps to make the shopping experience pleasing to customers of all ages.

Why do older consumers need special consideration?

Beyond their economic power, older consumers differ from the young because of their changing physiology. In our book, Marketing to the Ageing Consumer we explain the 25 Effects of Ageing (download a free explanatory sheet here). These changes affect every touchpoint along the customer journey and need to be considered if retailers are to offer what we call a ‘Lifetime Customer Experience‘.

The Retail Customer Experience article highlights a few examples of the adaptations retailers are making:

  1. Smaller store layouts to help reduce customer confusion and anxiety levels when shopping
  2. An assortment of product options to avoid confusion with site-to-store shopping
  3. Reader-friendly digital signage to help older customers adapt and easily navigate the space
  4. In-store kiosks positioned throughout stores to help customers order desired products or explore other options that may not be in-store
  5. Equipping staff with mobile POS solutions and providing the training to use them effectively to better serve customers in a more relaxed fashion without compromising those for whom speed is their number one priority

With the exception of fashion, few other retail operations really need to be age-specific. Attitudes drive shopping behaviour more than age and most attitudes transcend age. Brands that can tap into shopper insights and reach beyond the ageist stereotypes open up an broader market that includes older consumers – the largest, fastest growing and wealthiest segment of population on the planet today.