Exploring the Changing Shopping Habits of Baby Boomers

Gladly Team

Read Time

4 minute read

In the ranking of generational wealth, the baby boomers (born between the late 40s and early 60s) top the list. With their average non-home-equity wealth sitting at $90,060, boomers outpace the next wealthiest generation (their predecessors, the silent generation) by nearly $20,000. Considering just how much spending power these shoppers have, it’s important for retailers to research and understand baby boomer shopping habits to take advantage of their expendable wealth — and provide them with the customer support experience they desire.

For Brands Catering to Baby Boomers: Challenges Ahead

But the boomers are a tricky generation, born on the cusp of changing advertising media and with less digital savvy than the perennially online younger generations of millennials and Gen Z. To truly connect with them, particularly on ecommerce, retailers need to bridge the digital divide to drive consistent shopping.

How Do I Sell to Boomers?

Retailers can sell to baby boomers by establishing expertise in their industry, focusing on strong branding and value, and offering friendly, accessible service.

Boomers are also a responsive generation and proactively contact brands for information. In fact, a 2022 Statista survey found that the most popular interactive channels for boomers are email, web chat, and phone. In your plan to strategize boomer acquisition, consider those your channels of choice.

Do Boomers Shop Online?

Baby boomers shop online far more frequently since the pandemic, influenced by the convenience and safety of delivery. This is especially noticeable in certain products. A study from Klarna found that about a quarter of boomers buy electronics, entertainment, and clothing online (27%, 25%, and 20%, respectively).

A study that reviewed pre- and mid-pandemic shopping data showed that shoppers 65 and up were the fastest-growing online demographic, spending 49% more in 2020 than in 2019. In particular, services like grocery delivery flourished as they sought ways to make their weekly shopping trips more convenient — indicating an interest in outsourcing their routines as they age. And it seems like this shift in behavior is here to stay–by the end of 2021, 90% of boomers reported shopping online within the past 12 months.

What Do Baby Boomers Look for in Products?

The shopping habits of baby boomers demonstrate their interest in valuable products from knowledgeable, respected brands they can trust.

Still, boomers tend to be less loyal to brands than younger generations, with 36% saying they’re not loyal to any certain company (10% higher than the next closest generation). As they continually make gut decisions, focusing on the right shopping habits and product values are the key to winning their business.

Essential Baby Boomer Shopping Habits to Know

1. Boomers shop from brands they trust

The key to getting boomers to open their wallets is earning trust. In particular, focus on making them feel like they’re putting their money toward something they really value.

Boomers want to feel they’re dealing with a thoughtful, expert brand. Using our knowledge base system, ecommerce brands get a centralized hub of information around all products that they can upload across digital platforms while being accessible by service agents. With this helpful tool, brands can leverage their expertise to build a deeper sense of trust through their thought leadership, which boomers really respond to.


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2. Boomers want high-quality customer service

White glove, concierge customer service is a hallmark of a popular brand. The Gladly 2022 Customer Expectations Report found that nearly a third of consumers would “fall in love” with a brand because of great service. Boomers are no exception.

To meet the high expectations of this wealthy generation, investing in a support platform like Gladly provides the most comprehensive, hands-on customer service possible. The platform foregoes old-school ticketed systems in favor of a conversation-driven approach, allowing for a consistent service experience baby boomers love. In particular, this demographic responds to effective, problem-solving support, which our conversational system is designed to provide. By consolidating a shopper’s brand history into a single interface, agents can get to the crux of shopping dilemmas to quickly get customers a solution that keeps them happy.

Auto-Route VIP Customers for a White-Glove Experience

🛑 Gladly users can assign high-value customers to a dedicated customer service hero. As long as the hero is available, the customer will always get routed to them — no matter the channel. This way, teams can track interactions with top-tier customers to measure the long-term results and viability of their specialty programs.

3. Boomers want an online experience that mimics in-store shopping

Though their online spending is increasing, baby boomers expect the online brands they choose to have the ability and service acumen that recreates the intimacy of a brick-and-mortar experience.

With Gladly, ecommerce brands can achieve that in-store touch by tapping into a radically personal level of service that makes each boomer shopping experience feel like a trip to the local store. Consolidating all information on a shopper into an accessible customer details page lets agents understand each customer’s unique wants, needs, and history with a brand, so each interaction further develops a great brand relationship.

Gladly and Baby Boomer Shopping Habits

When brands bring on a support platform like Gladly, they unlock their full potential to reach and connect with shoppers of all generations. With boomers, this means understanding their unique approach to shopping and creating experiences they love.

Brands that use Gladly demonstrate their product expertise and support consistency to develop strong relationships with this high-spending demographic. To see how Gladly can improve your relationship with baby boomers, try a demo.