Retailers in the UK appear to be losing touch with the over 55s as they continue to pursue Millennial shoppers, according to global loyalty marketing agency, ICLP.

ICLP's survey found that 82% of Baby Boomers say that even their favourite retail brand doesn’t understand them and what they need, while 95% would consider “cheating” on that retailer by shopping with a competitor.

It found that while many retailers go after the Snapchat generation, older shoppers are being left feeling cold. Two in three Baby Boomer consumers said that they did not feel valued by their favourite brand and were treated like any other shopper. Just 29% said that they felt appreciated as a regular customer, compared to 48% of Millennials.

While loyalty programmes are still highly valued by all generations, they may, in some cases, be alienating Baby Boomers as they become less relevant to the needs of this demographic. Only 28% of Baby Boomer shoppers said that they felt their custom and loyalty was rewarded, as opposed to 40% of Millennials and 34% of those in between, the so-called Generation X.

· Create stronger rewards programmes: 73% said that they would buy more if they were rewarded better by their favourite retailer

· Communication is also crucial: 60% would buy more if brands communicated with them better, demonstrating the value of retailer communications when it comes to building devoted and profitable relationships with consumers

· Reliability and honesty are key: 47% of Baby Boomers said that when it comes to retailers, when things go wrong, it’s important that they get a swift apology and solution

· Offer consistent and reliable products/services: 70% of Baby Boomers said that they would spend more at their favourite retailer if their products were consistent and reliable

· Build respect and trust amongst customers: 56% of the over 55s said that they would spend more with a retailer if they trusted them more

Jason De Winne, general manager at ICLP, said: “At a challenging time for the high street, many retailers are doubling down on their efforts to lure millennial shoppers into their stores and onto their homepages. This sometimes comes at the expense of Baby Boomers, who tend to be more affluent, but require the same high level of attention that Millennials do to keep them loyal and devoted. It is this demographic which continues to support their local high streets, but are also increasingly tech savvy and spending online – and yet many brands are ignoring them.

“Retailers should aim to build more emotional connections with customers in all desired segments by making communications, rewards, and other touchpoints as relevant as possible. This must be powered by insight, so that the loyalty strategy can be informed by understanding each segment’s needs. The closer a customer feels to the brand, the greater the likelihood of them shopping again and becoming brand evangelists.”


By Jonathan Davies, editor, Digital Marketing Magazine

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