Alphabet Soup: Targeting Gen X, Y and Z at Retail

As the product needs and social norms of five generations of shoppers collide, it’s a good idea to evaluate how you’re addressing the changing retail landscape. Today, people of different ages and degrees of tech savvyness are shopping together, and there isn’t one set way of meeting their needs.

As interest and adoption of technology and related consumer electronics (CE) accessories continues to grow, today’s retailers have a new challenge when it comes to capitalizing on this market: targeting a wide range of individuals at point of sale. Point of purchase displays are a great way for retailers to stay relevant and meet the evolving social and product needs of Generations X, Y and Z, as well as the Baby Boomer and Silent Generations.

Be Strategic
Each generation has different needs when it comes to technology and CE accessories. Younger generations are more likely to be focused on products that entertain, are cutting edge and complement their connected lifestyles. Generation X has shown an increased interest in WellTech products that influence healthier lifestyles, while baby boomers are looking for consumer electronics and accessories that will help them maintain an independent lifestyle as they age.

Be Social
Embrace the increasing level of comfort your customers have with technology, and make sure you’re using the right channels to target them. Generations X, Y and Z rely heavily on the Internet and social connections to influencepurchases, and in many cases they influence the purchasing decisions of their parents. By 2020, the Web will play a role in 68 percent of consumers’ shopping journeys. Mobile searches will become more common—already key for Generation X—as will discovering technology through friends, blogs and social sites. Make sure you’re being represented, both as a retailer and through your manufacturing partners. You should be prepared to meet the social needs of these generations in addition to their product needs.

Be Straightforward
Sell to your most un-savvy audience with your most direct, easy-to-digest message. Remember that a product’s key selling point may not be what the manufacturer thinks it is – pay attention to the feedback you get, both in-store and through social channels, and adjust your strategy accordingly. Make sure your retail signage and product packaging work together to tell a story, and that both are supported with strong social and mobile media efforts. It’s important to engage the social-savvy generations without alienating the baby boomers and traditionalists, who are more likely to rely on in-store personnel and the recommendations of their family when making technology decisions. The less confusing the technology and prospect of adopting it is, the more likely your customers will walk away with a product happily in-hand.

Increasing attachment rates of CE accessories by even a small percent of consumers can mean a big boost in revenue, and embracing the social norms of today’s shoppers is a great way to facilitate a sale. Never before has our CE audience been so blended—in both age and tech savvyness. Keeping trending topics top of mind and using them to develop key messages will help draw inyour audience. Supporting those messages socially will enhance consumer engagement and drive growth. With a moment to digest, you’ll see how a bowl of alphabet soup might just lead to a lobster bisque year.

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