The pandemic has altered the shopping experiences of customers throughout the world. Where baby boomers were previously less engaged in digital purchases, the onslaught of the pandemic has driven more boomers than ever to adopt digital technology.
With their increased susceptibility to contracting the virus, many baby boomers turned to do more business online to avoid personal contact and ensure safety.
According to digital consulting firm, Mobiquity, baby boomers did demonstrate that they were lagging behind millennials and Generation Z when it came to adopting digital technologies, but for good reason. Let’s explore the findings.
Measuring Boomers’ Use Of Digital
Mobiquity conducted a survey in which 253 baby boomers and 349 non-boomers were asked about their buying behavior, pre, and post-pandemic.
It has been widely accepted that technology has been a blessing to so many as they weathered the challenges and limitations of the pandemic. In fact, 88% of baby boomers agreed that technology-assisted them during COVID-19. This was just 3% lower than the agreement found among the younger generations.
Although baby boomers found technology to be beneficial, they are also less comfortable using it. When asked questions about the ease of using technology, there was a deep divide between boomers and the younger generations. This was most notable when it came to their enjoyment of experimenting with new technologies. Some boomers actually mentioned that using technology was seen more as a “chore.”
These results alone should tip off companies if they want to directly impact this segment of the population. They should ask themselves how they can make the use of these technologies more “frictionless?” Something that should also be included in the development and evolution of current technologies is the question-how can they make it more fun for all these age groups, thereby increasing loyalty?
The greatest chasm between the boomer and the younger generations is the case of conducting business digitally versus in-person. It was of no surprise that the great majority of boomers gravitate more towards in-person interactions. Conversely, the younger generations favored digital engagement.
It was found that 55% of boomers preferred to conduct business in person, while 72% of non-boomers leaned more towards “digital business interactions.” With the social distancing measures still in place, there must be a safe way to please both groups.
To address the needs of a “less-than-tech-savvy audience”, many companies have come up with Curbside Concierge services. Knowing that many in the older adult population will not adopt or accept digital solutions, they may not need to. They may even get assistance to learn the technology from a store associate. Customers can simply pull up the curbside of their favorite retailer and a staff member can take their order via a tablet. These customers will not need to step out of their car, putting their health at risk, or learn new technology. With this strategy, everybody wins.
Additional segments of the population can benefit from using Curbside Concierge services. These include vulnerable populations or those with pre-existing conditions. People with disabilities can benefit, especially if they have difficulties typing, texting or tapping their cell phones. Also, if it’s too physically taxing to walk around the store, this is the best solution.
The Future Is Digital
Baby boomers and younger generations alike have agreed on one thing, that the complete switch to digital will outlast the pandemic itself. In fact, 88% of boomers have stated that they will continue to utilize digital technology to make their lives easier once the pandemic is solved.