How Baby Boomers Are Buying: 3 Must-Know Consumer Trends

These days it seems like the research around consumer decision-making is focused solely on the millenials. While this group is undoubtedly an important part of our economy’s future, it would be a mistake to forget about the baby boomers.

baby boomer marketing

As a refresher, baby boomers are those born between 1946-1964.

Today’s baby boomers are making more money, working (and living) longer, and continue to wield a tremendous amount of purchasing power. In fact, they are said to control 70% of all disposable income in the United States. Only a few years back in 2014, FONA International reported Boomers are responsible for roughly half of all consumer purchases in the US.

If you were wondering, that works out to about 2.3 trillion dollars each year.

With those kinds of numbers, it is no secret that understanding how this demographic makes their purchase decisions is more important than ever. Being able to recognize these trends and adjust your marketing plans accordingly is a great start to better connecting with this often-tricky group of customers.

Here are 3 trends to be aware of when to understanding how today’s boomers are buying:

1. Online Presence

A recent study found that roughly half of people aged 52-70 spend at least 11 hours a week online. These activities include news consumption, social media, research, and shopping – in that order.

With respect to online shopping, an interesting comparison was made between millenials and boomers. KPMG found that baby boomers shopped online just as much as millenials did. However, the Boomers ability to flex some purchasing muscle led to a greater average spend per transaction than younger generations. In short, boomers are spending more online than other generations.

Recognizing that e-commerce is becoming increasingly important to boomers is crucial when developing a sales strategy to reach this audience.

2. Interest in Health

It’s becoming clear that today’s baby boomers are placing a greater importance on healthier lifestyles. This demographic has seen increased activity in pharmacy visits, and the purchase of vitamins, fitness equipment, and health foods. What’s more, a survey of affluent boomers (household include 250k+) found that over 80% identified health as a top priority.

The numbers supports this trend towards health. Morgan Stanley reported that boomers are expected to spend 3.4% more on health than their parents did. They predict that between now and 2060, the market will grow by 1.04% annually due to new customers alone.

Health appears to be greater priority for boomers today than for previous generations. This has important implications for your DME product/pharmacy, and is an important trend to be watching out for.

3. Customer Service is Still King

It’s sounds almost cliché, but baby boomers are more demanding than other generations. A research study by Colloquy found that among all generations, baby boomers were the most likely to write off a company if they received poor service.

Boomers are also the most confident of all consumers – with only 12% responding that they prefer having the help of others to make a purchase. This is unlike millenials, who reported a much higher percentage.

What does this mean for your company? You need to make sure that your customer service is top notch, especially when dealing with boomers. It’s tried and true, and good customer service is still important to consumers. Being able to meet the demands and expectations of experienced, confident customers will go a long way with the Boomer demographic.

It’s incredibly important to keep these trends top of mind when determining how to connect with baby boomers. Understanding their online preferences, interest in health, and customer service standards will all help you craft a stronger message. With these tips in mind, you may soon be benefitting from a demographic with unparalled purchase power.