Young shoppers are moved by social media, according to a recent study, with the youngest shoppers influenced most by the social channels.
“More than 80% of Centennials and 74% of Millennials say social media influences their shopping, compared to only 58% of Generation X and 41% of Baby Boomers,” according to Yes Lifecycle Marketing, which surveyed 1,000 digital consumers.
And while those findings should surprise no one, they further confirm how much digital marketing is taking hold as mainstream marketing.
“The problem marketers face in effectively communicating with shoppers in every age group is that each generation’s buying habits, from research to purchase, vary significantly due to the evolution of technology over the last decade,” said the marketing group. “Along with that, each generation holds a different set of expectations for what marketers should deliver. Further complicating matters, these expectations vary by channel as well.”
The study breaks down four generational demographics by age and shopping characteristics:
Centennials (under 21) Experience Generation: “This youngest group of shoppers wants authentic brand experiences across all channels, and values quality over price or convenience. As digital natives, Centennials (consumers under the age of 21) don’t engage in the traditional customer service channels (such as phone or email), but they still expect personalized interactions with brands that understand their needs.”
Millennials(age 22 to 37) Brand Loyalists: “Millennials stick with the companies they know and trust, demonstrating the most brand loyalty of all the generations. This means they are most open to marketing messages – assuming their interactions are personalized, brands stay true to their promises and their customer loyalty is rewarded.”
Generation X (age 38 to 52) Bargain Hunters: “Often considered the forgotten generation, Generation X is full of deal seekers. They want good buys
on quality products, and they expect a convenient path to purchase. This group of consumers is most likely to be influenced by price and cares less about brand loyalty than other generations.”
Baby Boomers (age 53 to 71) Price-savvy Shoppers: “Baby Boomers are the most traditional consumers, shopping with brands that offer wide selections at discounted prices. Not motivated by loyalty programs or unique brand experiences, this generation wants to see a variety of well-priced products that meet their immediate needs.”
Yes Lifecycle Marketing says the key take-aways from its study are these:
- When it comes to social strategy, focus is key. A customized approach for two social networks is better than a blanket strategy for five.
- All generations, even Centennials and Baby Boomers, use Facebook. All brands must have a well-developed Facebook presence.
- If looking to reach Centennials, it’s imperative to incorporate Snapchat and/or Instagram along with Facebook.
- Pinterest can be used to reach shoppers of all generations; 15 percent in each age group said they find Pinterest influential for their shopping.
“With four generations wielding significant spending power yet vastly different shopping habits, marketers need to target each age group with distinct messaging through different channels,” explains the marketing group. “While older generations tend to put price, selection and convenience above all else, younger shoppers want personalized, cross-channel experiences. What’s more, go-to market strategies are often driven by stereotypes for each generation but as it turns out, many of these stereotypes might be misleading.”
Centennials, say the marketeers at Yes Lifecycle, like Instagram and Snapchat; maybe, too, a mobile app or a website. They prefer quality and authenticity over price.
Millennials like email and Facebook and want to be loyal to brands.
Generation Xers like email and direct mail. The want quality products and good prices.
Baby Boomers tend to respond to direct mail, first, and email. They like discounted prices and a wide selection.