Many businesses are hyper-targeting marketing efforts to millennials and Gen Z, but new research1 released today highlights the shopping patterns of the older, larger core generations: Gen X and baby boomers. Both generations regularly buy via multi-channel experiences, with 82 percent of Gen Xers and boomers surveyed buying in-store at least monthly, and 46 percent of Gen Xers and 40 percent of boomers surveyed shopping online at least monthly. They love to research, are the least likely to be influenced by online reviews and the most likely to have groceries delivered. These are among the findings of the latest research commissioned by global branded payments provider, Blackhawk Network, an authority on retail and consumer insights.

“While marketers should keep their eyes on Gen Z and millennials, they shouldn’t abandon Gen X and boomers. According to research from Epsilon, Gen X and boomers combined still have almost triple the buying power of the younger generations,” said Theresa McEndree, vice president of marketing at Blackhawk Network. “Older generations prefer well-established shopping channels like in-store and online but are willing to try newer options. For instance, they outpace younger generations in buying groceries online for at-home delivery. Considering these preferences helps retail marketers understand how to best reach Gen Xers and boomers regularly and create positive experiences that drive sales.”

In addition to these shopping behaviors, Blackhawk examined generational preferences for and usage of gift cards, a form of branded payment that can help retailers increase reach, loyalty and revenue.

“Retail marketers may not realize they can reach people through payments tools—including branded payments—and gift cards stand out as one of the most effective,” continued McEndree. “Gift cards act like mini billboards in customers’ wallets and can reach people on a very personal level. They can also inform marketing strategy by helping identify touchpoint opportunities, drive specific behaviors and create long-lasting relationships.”