TECHNOLOGY

Top Baby-Boomer Shopping Habits Retailers Can’t Afford to Ignore

BY Marianne Wilson

Millennials grab most of the attention from brand marketers, but baby boomers still have greater disposable income and far more purchasing clout.

A new report by Colloquy, “Shopping by Generation,” details 10 key shopping habits that make baby boomers different — habits that retailers should not ignore.

“Retailers who fail to recognize issues uniquely important to baby boomers (age 52 to 65) could watch those shoppers walk out the door empty-handed,” said Jeff Berry, editor in chief, Colloquy, a provider of loyalty marketing research.

Here are the 10 habits cited by Colloquy:

1. Baby boomers are more demanding than consumers in Gen X (36 to 51), Gen Y (22 to 35) and Gen Z (4 to 21). In a LoyaltyOne survey of U.S. and Canadian consumers, baby boomers were the most likely to write off a retailer if a sales associate didn’t appreciate their business, if a store was messy and if returns were a hassle.

2. Shopping isn’t relaxing for baby boomers. Just 27% agreed with the statement: “I think shopping is a great way to relax.” The boomer score is well below the other age groups.

3. Baby boomers want convenience. LoyaltyOne survey results show boomers place higher value than all other age groups on an easy-access location, an easy-to-navigate store and a clear return policy.

4. They know the price. Baby boomers scored higher than all the younger demographics for having a good idea of how much they pay for food and packaged goods.

5. Baby boomers are confident shoppers. Just 12% of boomers said they rely on family and friends to help them decide on a purchase.

6. At 84%, baby boomers easily topped all survey groups in saying they prefer to shop in-store.

7. Just 37% of baby boomers said they’re likely to look around a store for new products, scoring well below millennials on browsing.

8. Baby boomers aren’t stuck in the good old days. They are the only generation that doesn’t prioritize buying the brands they used while growing up.

9. When purchasing something with which they have little experience, baby boomers, at 48%, are twice as likely as millennials to be influenced by the popularity of the item.

10. Nearly seven out of 10 baby boomers (69%) said the word that best describes their membership experience in a loyalty program is “economical,” versus 52% for millennials.

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TECHNOLOGY

Up Close: Shoppers review GNC’s makeover

BY Marianne Wilson

GNC hit the reset button on December 28, 2016, closing its 4,464 U.S. owned and franchised stores for the day as it rolled out a simplified pricing strategy with items priced the same across all channels, a new app, a new rewards program and installed new POS terminals.

Field Agent, a consulting firm that conducts on-location auditing and research, recently sent “agents” to 52 stores to check out the changes. In some good news for struggling GNC, the reviews were mostly positive.

Here are the highlights:

• 69% rated the "single price" system as "excellent"

• 68% are more likely to shop the "New GNC" compared to the former GNC

• 72% found the new "My GNC Rewards" program to be "much better" or "better" than the previous Gold Card program

• 77% were "completely likely" to participate in "My GNC Rewards"

(Field Agent screened its panel of approximately one million U.S.-based agents to locate existing GNC customers. Fifty-two of these agents were ultimately sent to GNC stores to interact with products and store employees, sign up for the new rewards program, capture photos, and make a purchase of at least $5. They also downloaded and used GNC’s new mobile app.

For more, click here.

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TECHNOLOGY

Exhibitor to share ‘experiences’ at NRF’s upcoming Big Show

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

One technology provider is forgoing a traditional show floor exhibit to illustrate how innovation will drive the next-generation retail experience.

While its booth will be constructed out of two stacked shipping containers, the space will house a mock store using digital innovations, including iQmetrix Endless Aisle, Samsung Gear VR and Gear 360 video. These three solutions will guide attendees through a variety of experiences, including a surf shop using a virtual reality demo that allows consumers to test out surfboards, and a separate experience enabling attendees to sit in and customize a car.

The vendor will also discuss case studies from Samsung, tentree, and a major shoe retailer, among others, to show how solutions ranging from endless aisle and digital signage, to point-of-sale, metrics, and payments can work together to enhance the in-store experience, the company said.

“Not only will our booth be unlike any other, but the solutions we’re able to present will truly help retailers fix, what for many, is a broken in-store experience,” Christopher Krywulak, president and CEO, iQmetrix.

The annual NRF conference and convention will set up shop at Jacob Javits Center in New York City Jan. 15-17.

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