Recent research from Pragma, shows that retailers are now having to wake up to the fact that a wealth of untapped opportunity lies in the 50+ market. Not only are there 22m people aged 50+ in the UK who accounted for £320bn of expenditure in 2012, this group is growing and is expected to reach 29m by 2035.
So what is stopping you targeting this consumer group? Pragma's primary research with 1,308 UK consumers over 50 shows a fresh perspective on the attitudes and behaviours of this group and how retailers can effectively engage with this market.
They have defined five fundamentals for riding the wave of 50+ retail fever:
1. Don't make assumptions
50+ consumers' spending is not just confined to traditional physical channels. 73% of all consumers we spoke to had shopped online in the last month, only just behind shopping the proportion of consumers who had shopped on their local high street (76%).
Retailers who have wised up to the value of making their store experience interpersonal have seen particular success with the over 50s.
MyWaitrose has gone beyond the conventions of a typical points-based loyalty card by providing shoppers with a free coffee, newspaper and most importantly, a reason to regularly visit and dwell in their stores. 4 out of 10 consumers claimed that the absence of a welcoming atmosphere would discourage them from returning to a store; make sure your approach to in-store service extends to all customer touch points, such as Bonmarché who utilise their Facebook page as a responsive and personal customer service tool.
3. Think positively
Baby-boomers, or those born during 1946 and 1976, now make-up a large proportion of the 50+ market and have a totally different perspective on ‘growing older'. Most importantly, ageing isn't necessarily seen as a negative anymore; 57% of consumers in our survey felt positive about growing older, so consider how you clearly express this in your brand communications.
4. Be relevant
"Advanced Style", Ari Cohen's recent blog turned documentary that challenges conventional ideas about beauty and ageing through his portrait of a selection of stylish women aged 62 to 95, is just one of many examples of how the parameters of ‘old age' are being redefined. This consumer group no longer see themselves as ‘old'; whilst the average age of the consumers' that we spoke to was 62, 54% feel like they are under 50, so why market to them like they are old and grey haired?
5. Understand their outlook on life
Unlike younger consumers who can be easily segmented into 0discrete age groups, our research revealed that the key differences within the 50+ market lie between consumers' attitudes towards ‘growing older' rather than their age. Therefore, we have identified six unique segments based on attitudes to help retailers' align their proposition to meet the needs of diverse mind-sets of 50+ consumers.
Read more on their website, or download the full research on the right.