It’s no longer just young, digitally-driven generations who demand personalized engagement from their favorite brands. Whether they are online to browse, book, or bank, customers from 18 to 80 now seek seamless experiences that meet their personal, in-the-moment needs. But, while their journeys may lead to the same destination, each generation takes a unique route when navigating today’s data-driven landscape.
Let’s take a closer look at each generation to discover how enterprises can optimize their engagement, catering to generation-specific behaviors and tendencies to build a robust, multi-generational customer engagement strategy.
Comprised of individuals up to 22 years old, Gen Z is today’s youngest generation of consumers. But while this segment may be youthful, it shouldn’t be underestimated—Gen Z has already amassed more than $40 billion in buying power, and by 2020, its members are predicted to be the driving force of the consumer world.
In addition to rapidly establishing their economic strength, members of Gen Z have also fully internalized the need for ever-present connection. More than 95% of Gen Z owns or has access to a smartphone, and more than half use some form of social media. In order to proactively gain the loyalty of these super-shopper digital natives, enterprises need to meet them where they are: on their smartphones, on social media, and on apps. By providing them with actionable, relevant digital promotions seamlessly integrated into their social and shopping experiences, brands can greatly optimize engagement for Gen Z customers.
Ranging in age from 23 to 38, Millennials are no longer teenagers or college students; they are young professionals and working parents adjusting to an increasingly on-the-go lifestyle. 47% say their work hours are rising, 78% are in dual-career relationships, and 48% are parents—all changes that greatly affect their consumer habits.
Luckily, Millennials are as digitally-savvy as their Gen Z counterparts, and they are using technology to increase the convenience of shopping, eating, financial planning, and more. 39% of Millennials use mobile payments, the highest percentage among all generations, and on average, they spend 90 hours using smartphone apps every month. To increase engagement and spend among Millennials, enterprises should ensure that every interaction is personalized to assist them in-the-moment, making life easier with convenience-based offers and streamlined journeys across channels.
Often called the “Forgotten Generation,” those between the ages of 39 and 54 are members of Generation X. Caught between Boomers and Millennials in a political, economic, and social sense, Gen X is also overlooked by many marketers. That’s why personalization is so important to Gen X—in fact, 44% prioritize a company’s ability to personalize services to their individual satisfaction.
Reaching members of Gen X with the personalized engagement they seek is easier than enterprises may think. 80% of Gen X-ers say that email is their preferred communication method, and 33% already use mobile payments, the second highest percentage among generations. By providing personalized offers attuned to users’ historic and real-time activity, brands can meet Gen X-ers’ needs on an individual level and rapidly boost customer engagement.
Finally, aged between 55 and 73, Baby Boomers are an established and significant segment for today’s enterprises. Born before the proliferation of digital devices, Baby Boomers are less likely than other generations to utilize technology for shopping, booking, banking, and other everyday activities. However, their adaptation to—and adoption of—e-commerce is steadily growing.
In fact, 7 in 10 Americans above the age of 50 now own a smartphone. Though only a small proportion use them to complete online purchases, the transactions they do complete are significant; Baby Boomers spend the most per online transaction when compared to other generations, reaching an average of $203 per online purchase in 2017. That’s why simple, eye-catching, straightforward offers are particularly effective for up-selling Baby Boomers who shop online, and for guiding them into the store if they don’t.