rules for retailing to these harried customers.
by Jeff Mowatt
When it comes to retailing, it’s easy to get distracted by the hype
about selling to the upcoming Gen “Y”ers/Millennials (see Florists’
Review January 2010 issue, Pages 79-88) or Gen “X”ers. That’s fine if
your products are meant for these groups, but if your target market is
baby boomer women, you’ll need to operate quite differently from the
current practices of most retailers.
The good news is you’ll likely be richly rewarded. Baby-boomer women
(currently ages 45-63) represent not only a massive portion of the North
American population but one that will inherit more wealth over the next
decade. The challenge for retailers targeting boomers is that this group
is becoming fed up with the hassle factor of typical retail shopping.
Boomer women are busier than ever. They spend most of their waking hours
working/commuting and dealing with their Millennial children who appear
to never want to move away the concierge service they receive at home.
At the same time, boomer women are caring for aging parents. They’re run
ragged. In today’s soft economy, they may not be buying luxury, but
they’re still buying quality. The implications for retailers targeting
this group are severalfold:
1. Reduce the hassle factor for your boomer women customers.
• Offer easy online ordering.
• Offer to gift-wrap.
• Offer to create custom baskets of your goods and ship them anywhere.
Don’t wait to be asked to do this; proactively announce it (pick up the
phone and start dialing during your slow periods). Your customers’ money
is plentiful. Their time and energy is scarce.
2. Don’t offer cheap novelties that will end up in garage sales; sell
unique products that provide real quality and lasting value.
3. Hire mature employees who can relate to your target market—not
students who have no interest in the products they’re trying to sell.
Bottom line: Your business can’t be all things to all people. Targeting
Millennials and Gen “X”ers and boomers will attract none.
Pick a lane. Forget trying to go cheap to be affordable to young people;
price wise, you’ll never beat Walmart or China. Instead, be a specialist
who provides quality and remarkable customer service that your target
market will appreciate and pay for.
Customer service strategist Jeff Mowatt is a professional speaker and
bestselling author of Becoming a Service Icon in 90 Minutes a Month. For
customer service tools and tips, or to inquire about engaging Jeff for
your team visit www.JeffMowatt.com
or call (800) JMowatt (566-9288).