Have Retailers Lost Sight of the Baby Boomers?

Retail and the technology involved is progressing rapidly… who’s getting left behind?

Baby Boomers

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British retail is one of the most competitive industries in the world by being incredibly responsive to the consumer, moving quickly and being at the cutting edge of developing new technology. This is how Helen Dickinson OBE and CEO of the British Retail Consortium (BRC) opened the recent BRC Customer Experience Retail Event in London. I could not agree anymore having overseen so many changes to the industry I am most passionate about these last 30 years of my career.

Qlik, as an associated member of the BRC, were a main sponsor of this event. I was fortunate to be joined by Kinnari Ladha – Marketing Insights Director at ITG Creator at the event who described how Virgin Trains have improved Customer Sentiment with Qlik Analytics Platform. How do they do this? Well, by developing an Awesometer app (cool name eh!) that visualizes Virgin Trains customer sentiment to deliver real-time actionable insights to increase customer satisfaction.

Chris McDermott, Virgin Trains Advocacy Manager, sums it up very well by saying, “We’re all about putting our customers at the heart of what we do here at Virgin Trains. That means making changes to our business based on what our customers tell us is important to them. To do that, we like to use the best tools in the industry to better understand what our customers are asking for.”

Also speaking at the event was KMPG, another associated member of the BRC and strategic partner of Qlik, represented by Paul Martin, UK Head of Retail. KPMG and Qlik have been partnering these past two years in conjunction with the BRC through the BRC Retail Sales Monitor: an analytical platform powered by Qlik as an insights service covering 70% of UK Retail sales. 

Paul presented the recent KPMG survey which you can download here entitled ‘The truth about Consumers’ with key highlights indicating consumers expect retailers to integrate their physical and digital environments to provide a much broader, deeper experience and again I could not agree more. Check out this Omni-Channel app that shows how you can integrate multiple consumer sales and interaction channels into one single view.

So, as a company I work for, Qlik is doing their bit towards developing cutting edge technology to deliver increasing consumer insight and satisfaction.

However, if you are still reading and have got this far, you will notice this has nothing to do with the title of my blog, ‘Have Retailers Lost Sight of the Baby Boomers?’ Well, retailers are about to embark on having to serve, engage and interact with four different generational shoppers for the first time in their long history. A new generation of shoppers called Gen Z will make up 40% of all consumer spend by 2020 and will engage with retailers alongside the Gen Y and Gen X.

But my blog was supposed to be all about baby boomers right, who were born from 1946 post-world-war. So in addressing this, I want to finish off my blog by sharing some words of wisdom for all retailers reading this which was shared by Richard Watson, Futurist Speaker and Scenario Thinker and last keynote speaker of the BRC CX event. 

Richard talked wonderfully about all the latest consumer technology exploding onto the retail scene to help us all to shop quicker, faster and easier, however he reminded us all to not forget what it is like to shop on the high-street when you are of a certain age. What baby boomers want, and I will include myself in this valid point, is every now again rather than all this technology is to simply find somewhere to sit and rest your legs whilst shopping. I think this would be a great alternative campaign for any retailer out there who wants to differentiate themselves: more seats!

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