Multi-generational retailing

Oct 2, 2019
Written by Renée Sunde, President & CEO

A new report that’s just out suggests how retailers in today’s marketplace need to keep pace with generational shoppers whose approaches as consumers are all a little different.

The report “Retail and the Generational Game” shares key recommendations that retailers need to consider to meet the needs of each generation. I’d like to share four that stood out to me.

The first is to know your customer. The report debunks the myth that millennials are killing brick-and-mortar. Shopping is still a social event and millennials are more likely to shop in-store than baby boomers.

Next, retailers should train their sales staff to focus on being customer-first. Employees are on the front lines and if they can’t solve an issue posed by a Generation Z shopper in the moment, the brand will suffer because of it.

Retailers need to step up their social media game. The report by Oracle Netsuite maintains that social media have major influence over shaping the perceptions of brands. It concludes that more than 60% of both Gen Z and millennial groups believe that social media impacts their relationship with the brands they choose. Baby boomers also are in this loop, according to the report. More than any other age group, boomers learn about sales and promotions through retailer social media channels.

Finally, though technology is changing how we shop, one-on-one human interactions can’t be replaced with computers or touch screens on the sales floor. The human touch does more for building customer loyalty than the convenience of technology.

What different generations want from retailers may not be the same, but they’re all part of today’s market. The retailers who can walk this tightrope of changing needs and desires are the ones most likely to thrive in the years to come.