March 9, 2011 – When it comes to retailing, it's easy to get distracted by the hype
about selling to the upcoming millennials (twenty somethings) or gen-xers (thirty somethings). 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-Boom women
(aged late 40s to early 60s) 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 this
group is becoming fed-up with the hassle-factor of typical retail
Boomer women are busier than ever. They spend most of their waking
hours working/commuting and dealing with their Millennial children who
don't appear to ever want 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 several fold:
- Reduce the hassle-factor for your Boomer women customers. Offer
easy on-line ordering. Offer to gift-wrap. Offer that you'll put
together custom baskets of your goods and ship anywhere for them. Don't
wait to be asked to do this; pro-actively announce it (pick up the
phone and start dialing during your slow periods). Your customers'
money is plentiful. Their time and energy is scarce.
- Don't offer cheap novelties that will end up in garage sales. Sell unique products that provide real quality and lasting value.
- 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 Xers and
Boomers is attracting none. Pick a lane. Forget trying to go cheap to
be affordable to young people. Price-wise you'll never beat Wal-Mart or
China. Be a specialist providing quality and remark-able customer service that your target market actually appreciates and is willing to pay for.
This article is based on the critically acclaimed book Becoming a Service Icon in 90 Minutes a Month,
by customer service strategist and professional speaker Jeff Mowatt.
To obtain your own copy of his book or to inquire about engaging Jeff
for your team, visit www.jeffmowatt.com or call 1.800.JMowatt
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