The changing face of retail from Amazon to CVS pharmacies is both exciting and sometimes confusing. It is a learning curve, but a real convenience. In a recent article in the Guardian, Suzanne Bearne speaks about retail with no check-out staff, no queueing, grab and go, helpful robots, and the question whether there will be a need for physical stores. However, many enjoy the social experience and stores who understand this will survive and even flourish.
The Millennials like the social aspect of shopping, especially in the specialty shops. They are savvy shoppers, continually using their smart phones to determine best prices. They maximize rebates, order online, like store pick up and appreciate loyalty programs. They like the security of using gift cards and they utilize social networks for information. They favor brands that give back to their communities.
Gen Xers are like the Millennials, but tend to research more online and through e-mail and then purchase off-line. Gen Xers are less trendy, preferring to create their own unique style and, although thrifty, are more interested in quality and customer service.
Baby Boomers have been big spenders, but love bargains, coupons and sales. They shop online, but are less likely to their digital devices at a retail location. They are influenced mostly by retail websites, advertising and salespeople. They place high importance on customer service and are loyal to their favorite brands.
As far as the oldest generation, it varies. Some are technically savvy. Their buying habits tend to come out of what is needed and useful since many are downsizing or de-cluttering. They also will spend more on a great experience rather than purchasing too many material things. They may also be concentrating spending on family members.
With the tools available today, smart retailers will spend time to know their customers and learn how to satisfy their individual needs.