Consumer trends have changed at a rapid pace since Koh Living opened its doors nearly 15 years ago.
Life just keeps getting faster. We are more connected than ever before, yet often more alone. Advances in technology have shifted foot traffic away from ’bricks’ to ‘clicks’, as time-poor consumers take advantage of the ease of online shopping and sourcing products from all over the globe from the comfort of their desk, kitchen or couch.
Consumer expectations are changing too. People want faster, high quality service and are willing to take the time to ‘shop around’ for the best price. Consumers are looking deeper into how and where their products are made. And while this trend applies to every age group, it is ageing consumers who are emerging as the most savvy, aware and selective buyers.
As people mature, they tend to become more ‘right brained’, looking for purpose in life and focusing on connectedness rather than material gain. They will put more thought into their purchases, spending hard-earned money on items that fit their values and those of their loved ones. Ageing consumers will only spend money on things with which they feel a connection.
With fewer or no children, the older generation already has most of the things they want or need, so are more discerning when shopping. They want quality over quantity. They recognise that accumulating material things is not synonymous with happiness. They want to know where and how things are made and if these items will benefit the world in some way. These consumers are also more savvy about politics and economics and more patriotic, so will likely support local brands.
So how can you attract this customer to your store, benefit from their loyalty and keep them coming back for more?
1 When they visit, seek them out and talk to them. Build a relationship and get to know more about them and their personality. The ageing consumer loves to talk.
2 Introduce them to products that are simple, beautiful and have a wonderful story to tell.
3 Ask yourself, ‘how can I make things more convenient for my customers’? Create a website with simple information on who you are, where you are and your product range.
4 Acknowledge that this consumer might be shopping for themselves, but has someone else in mind too. The ageing consumer likes to plan ahead and think carefully about the perfect gift. You can help them find it.
Do you understand the values of the older generation? Are you hiring staff who knows how to engage with your older customers and make them feel important? Are you building long-lasting and effective relationships?
By Tui Cordemans, founder of Koh Living