eCommerce Strategies for Marketing to Different Generations

Not too long ago, the preferred marketing strategy was to cast as wide a net as possible to garner the attention of every available customer. These days, we know that it’s wiser and more cost-effective to target customers based on specific demographic and behavioral data.

Targeted ads are more than twice as effective and valuable as non-targeted ones, meaning that finding the right customers is crucial for your success. One of the simplest ways you can narrow down your most valuable pool of online customers is to segment them by age.

The fact of the matter is that online shopping behavior varies widely from one generation to the next. While this may seem like a challenge for marketers, it’s actually a secret weapon to help you succeed. Since there’s so much data out there about how post-millennials, millennials and baby boomers prefer to shop, it can effectively define your entire approach.

This information should be the backbone of your demographic-focused eCommerce marketing strategy. Let’s take a look at some of the key data that you can use to guide your research.

Baby Boomers vs. Millennials: How They Shop

eCommerce strategies online shopping

There’s so much information out there about the purchase decisions of millennials. They’re the first generation to consider shopping online pretty much second nature, so if they just so happen to be your target consumer, you’re in good shape when it comes to market research. We can conclude from various studies that millennial-aged eCommerce shoppers are more likely to make an online purchase if they get a discount, if a product or service seems more convenient or if they believe what they’re supporting a company that contributes to social responsibility initiatives.

On the other hand, baby boomers and older consumers as a whole appear to have more time to make purchase decisions, which means that they use both online stores and physical stores to bargain hunt to make sure they’re getting the best deal. Don’t let that data mislead you, though; baby boomers actually spend more online than millennials. Generation X shoppers (those born between 1965 and 1984) are the most active online shoppers of any age group.

All generations seem to prioritize a few things when buying online: mobile shopping, good customer service and free shipping.

The thing is, different generations spend their money in different spaces. Millennials spend the majority of their online dollars on consumer electronics, furniture and home accessories, home improvement products, and lawn and garden items. They’re also more likely to try out online grocery stores and meal kit delivery services.

Baby boomers, on the other hand, shell out more money on healthcare and travel, and while they’re warming up to online grocery shopping, they’re still not major contributors to the market. Generation Xers and baby boomers also spend more on home improvement products than younger shoppers.

Discovering Your Customer Base

Of course, these statistics are by no means all-inclusive, and there’s tons of data out there that you can use to better understand how your customers shop online.

But you can’t really leverage this data until you actually know for sure which generation makes up a majority of your customer base. Uncovering the typical age range of your core customer will help ensure that you’re not needlessly tossing advertising bucks at the wrong crowd.

So how do you do that, exactly? The important thing is to implement a data-driven marketing strategy to discover how your customers buy products online from your website, social media, Amazon and other marketplaces. If you know how, when, where and why your target age group shops, you can create a more intuitive, engaging shopping experience just for them. Of course, that translates into more sales, more brand loyalty and plenty more repeat customers.

The Practical Solution

Partnering with a data-driven analytics platform like Springbot will help you better understand your customers so that you can build out your strategy based on shopper preferences. Essentially, our platform can break down your customer data based on purchase behaviors, segmenting customers by household income, gender, new versus returning and, of course, age group. What’s more, our tools don’t just measure how consumers shop online, but also how they engage with ads and social media platforms. That way, you can have the confidence to create a truly tailored end-to-end experience for any generation by leveraging customer data insights.


1 Comment

  1. […] In the world of ecommerce, millennials are simply a window into the future. Take the advantage that mobile devices can offer consumer product information readily everywhere and use the mobile social media advice to reach out. As studies suggest 89%  of people are likely to recommend a brand after a positive brand experience on mobile. The buyer behaviour they initiate is often just an early indicator of the buyer behaviour that ripples out into other generations. […]