Many retailers often fall into the trap of continually trying to target younger demographics, such as Generation Z, and worrying about how they can ensure that their products and messaging aligns with the age group’s fresh way of thinking and digitally native buying journeys. However, by doing this, retailers can run the risk of alienating older shopper groups and, as our recent research shows, this could be a costly mistake to make.

According to our recent research, across Europe, Grey Pound shoppers (over 50s) spend 71% more per shopping centre visit compared to other age groups. They also shop across more brands and their spend per shopping centre trip averages at a healthy £146. Surprisingly, however, this isn’t because they are spending more time in-store, in fact, shoppers over 50 years’ old are visiting shopping centres 25% less than other consumer groups and spend less dwell time within the stores too (-3%).

These results demonstrate the need to ensure that older demographics of customers are encouraged in-store through promotional offers, either through the brands themselves, or through the coffee chains and food outlets. This way, shopping centres will encourage greater revenue as these consumers, with a propensity to spend more each time they visit, shop.

Despite their less frequent visits, the Grey Pound attribute 42% more revenue than younger generations for shopping centres and make almost double (45%) the amount of transactions per visit. There will be a number of factors as to why this is the case, but it may indicate that other generations are showrooming during shopping centre visits.

Interestingly, consumers over 50 years’ old also lead the way when it comes to shopping centre loyalty. Defying stereotypes of being technophobes, the Grey Pound were seen to use mobile loyalty scheme offers almost a third more (31%) than other consumers, attributing to encourage their high spending behaviour.

As a result, retailers need to ensure that promotional offers are relevant to their most loyal customers. By analysing reward scheme customer data, such as average transactional spend, frequency of visits or number of brands visited, for example, retailers can begin to build a profile of their most valuable customers and their current loyal customer lifetime.

By using these insights and applying them to planned marketing activity, such as promotional offers, brands and centres can ensure that they are targeting the relevant demographics to produce the most profitable results. And, as our research demonstrates, the stats can sometimes be surprising. As a result, this year will see more brands recognising the need to achieve a more informed position from which to make decisions, and in turn, many centres will experience an uplift in spend and loyalty from an audience that drives the most revenue.

As much as e-commerce had to adapt to accommodate the growing opportunity that silver surfers presented, omnichannel retailers in 2017 will need to adopt a similar strategy for their bricks-and-mortar stores to appeal to the lucrative Grey Pound demographic.


By Ben Chesser, CEO Coniq

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