As some of Britain’s most enthusiastic online shoppers, capturing the loyalty of those born between the mid 1960’s and the early 1980’s – or “Generation X” – is essential for retailers seeking a secure revenue stream.
With much research already indicating the loyalty drivers for millennials and baby boomers, OnBuy.com put the spotlight on Generation X as online consumers, analysing retail data from KPMG to help ecommerce business owners understand more about their shopping habits.
A positive customer experience stood out as the greatest loyalty driver for Britons in their 40s and 50s. Two-thirds cited “excellent customer support” as the most important attribute for a retailer, with just under half looking for exclusive membership offers.
Meanwhile, convenience was also an important factor. Some 28 per cent wanted to see customised promotions reflecting previous buys, with around a quarter looking for easy to repeat purchases and product suggestions based on sales history.
Positive reviews were also found to be crucial in leading to a sale. Over half were heading to a search engine to look for reviews and recommendations for products on brands, while 48 per cent would go straight to a company’s website for their research.
Over a quarter admitted visiting a physical store beforehand to sample a product before completing the purchase online.
As well as the expectation of good customer service and shopping convenience, the findings confirmed that Generation X was as familiar with technology as younger age groups.
One testimonial, from a 42-year old consumer from Leicester named Craig, claimed the convenience of online shopping was a particular benefit to his generation.
“With work and kids occupying a lot of my time, I really like online shopping. I can browse products online and order at the click of a button. I don’t even have to queue or waste money on parking, like you do with in-store shopping.”
Offering an expert’s perspective on the study, Lilly Jones, a London-based retail analyst, advised online retailers to consider the value of Generation X as a consumer group.
“A lot of retailers have spent a considerable amount of time and resources to understand the behaviours and preferences of [millennials and baby boomers], leaving Generation X behind as a significant consumer group,” Jones said.
“Retailers must make an active effort to understand the needs of Generation X, as they will continually drive online sales for the foreseeable future”.
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