While distinguishing shopping patterns between demographics such as gender and income has been a long-established practice, there has been an increasing divergence in the shopping patterns based on age. This divergence has manifested itself into entire categories based on generation behavior patterns. We now have classified generations into Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millenials, and Generation Z. Each generation has distinct purchasing patterns that are generally unique to that group. Therefore, we must examine consumer shopping patterns for each generation, both for overall purchases and CBD and D8 products, to best market our demographic.
Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964)
Baby Boomers and Money
Baby Boomers may be the closest in ideology to their prior generation than any generations that follow them. They believe in all of the components of the American Dream, such as family, a fairly strict moral code, and hard work. Because of their opportunities and age, Boomers have become the wealthiest generation in history. This is a pivotal point when discussing target markets, as Boomers far out earn and outspend any other generation. Here are just a few facts about the wealth of Baby Boomers:
- Boomers have collectively earned $3.7 trillion. This more than doubles the Silent Generation (born 1925-1945) before them.
- 50% of US consumer spending is attributed to the Boomers.
- 70% of disposable income is earned by the Boomers.
- Boomers are estimated to be worth 30 trillion dollars.
- When they do spend money, Boomers tend to be more cost-conscious when evaluating products.
- 10,000 Boomers are retiring every day.
So with all of this accumulated wealth, what are Baby Boomers spending it on?
Boomers tend not to spend their disposable income on discretionary products like clothing, TVs, cars, etc. Boomers are more interested in maintaining good health and in new adventures – both so that they can enjoy their remaining years while they’re still healthy enough to do so. Therefore, Boomers spend much of their disposable income on healthcare products, entertainment, and travel. This focus on health presents a great opportunity to promote the holistic benefits of CBD.
Baby Boomers Love Technology
The generation that has introduced the home computer and internet to the world has certainly embraced new technology. Over 90% of adults who are 60 years of age and above own a laptop or desktop computer, and here’s how they tend to use that technology:
- A full one-third of all social media users are Boomers, with 82.3% of them using at least one social media outlet.
- Facebook is the Boomer’s favorite social media (65% prefer Facebook to all others).
- According to Forbes, Boomers use search engines (96%) and email (95%). But the most astounding number is that 92% of Boomers shop for products and services online and spend almost $7 billion per year.
- While online, about 60% of Boomers read blogs and articles for information, and 70% like watching videos about services and products.
- Boomers spend an average of 27 hours per week online and are 19% more likely to share content than any other generation.
Baby Boomers are a great target audience because of their wealth and online presence. However, there are some do’s and don’ts when you market to Boomers.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Marketing CBD and D8 to Boomers
Of course, each generation has its nuances of what they like and don’t like. But, by understanding some do’s and don’ts of marketing to Baby Boomers, you can sidestep some landmines and get the most from your advertising dollar.
Do use Facebook
As we’ve already mentioned, 65% of Boomers are on Facebook. They use it to keep in touch with loved ones and to stay informed on what is going on in the lives of their extended family and friends. This presents a great opportunity for hemp-product retailers to utilize Facebook. In addition, Facebook allows you to refine your target market to specific factors such as geographic location, age, gender, and interests.
However, Facebook and other social media outlets do come with a caveat. While most are loosening their restrictions on CBD and Delta 8 THC product advertising, it is easy to run afoul of their censors. Be sure to research the specific restrictions of that advertiser before you go through the trouble of creating an ad, only to be turned down by the outlet. Also, to not run afoul of the law, check the recent laws in the states you plan on advertising in. Some states have not completely embraced CBD sales, and more than a dozen have outlawed Delta 8 THC products altogether.
Do Provide Useful Information
Baby Boomers like to get the most bang for their buck, so providing useful information about the product and why it’s worth the cost is essential. If you are using typed information, make sure the copy is clear and easy to understand by using lots of clear headings and bullet points. In addition, you want your formatting to make the information easy to understand quickly.
If you provide information through videos, you need to know that Boomers prefer slower videos that explain concepts in detail instead of flashy fast-moving videos. Instead, use striking videos with large type and short captions to help the older user follow along. Try to stick to one concept at a time and experiment with different formats until you find one that resonates with the Boomers.
Do Be Accessible
Not only should your ad copy be large and easy to read as many Boomers now wear glasses, make sure there is limited content with a lot of visual contrast for further readability. Do not use fonts smaller than 16 pt, and buttons should be at least 44 pixels high.
Also, be accessible by email or phone. Live chat may be good for the younger generations, but Boomers like to talk to real people. So make your phone number and email address prominent. Another good idea is to make those elements a link on your website where the user can email you or talk to a person with one click.
Don’t Use Slang or Modern Humor.
Slang or humor that references knowledge of recent trends or fads on the internet will likely be completely lost on Baby Boomers. Using references that only younger generations will understand will not only confuse the Boomer, but it will also alienate them. Stick to clear and concise verbiage that is easy to understand. Be very selective about the humor you use to make sure the Boomer will get the joke. It may even be helpful to run any jokes past a Boomer or two to verify its effectiveness.
Don’t Use Offensive Terms.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but for a Baby Boomer, even words like elderly or old are derogatory and offensive. Most Boomers are health-conscious, active, and are having the time of their lives. They take pride in looking, acting, and feeling a lot younger than the number of years they have on the calendar. Therefore, referring to Boomers as anything less than vibrant and in the prime of their lives will be a turnoff. Instead, focus on empowering them to do more to reach their goals by utilizing the CBD and Delta 8 products you provide. In addition, when putting together ad campaigns, it is a good rule of thumb to use models that are at least ten years younger than your target market.
Generation X (born 1965-1980)
Generation X Buying Habits
While there are many opportunities when marketing to the Generation X population, they present their own set of obstacles. The first of those obstacles is that Gen X tends to be more skeptical about marketing tactics. They will be more swayed by the practicality of a product and proof of how well it performs instead of a flashy ad. Generation Xers tend to research a product before purchasing thoroughly. In that vein, they utilize social media, online reviews, and comparative product searches before buying anything. Any bad publicity or reviews about a product can easily turn away a Gen Xer.
Marketing to Generation X
Because Gen X utilizes a lot of research before making product purchases, your products must be highly visible online. Therefore, your company needs to utilize SEO strategies to increase its web presence. In addition, your company should be active on social media to give a more authentic and personable brand image. Also,Generation X is likely right in the prime of their careers, so they check their email often. This makes email campaigns one of the most effective advertising tools for CBD and Delta 8 products.
Generation X likes to save money on their purchases, so personalized offers based on prior purchases are a big incentive for this group. While they don’t tend to engage with brands online, they are highly motivated by discounts and coupons.
Another advertising strategy is to personalize their brand experience by concentrating on Gen Xer’s health, family, and desire to play it safe. Promote the high quality and value of your products in a unique, targeted ad. Generation Xers are also becoming more socially aware. So promoting how your company is involved in social and environmental consciousness through charities or sustainable sources will go a long way with Generation X.
Millennials (born 1981-1996)
Generation X is outspent only by Millenials when it comes to online shopping. When it comes to making purchases online, Millennials own the #1 spot. However, Millennials take a lot of time and effort online before making a purchase.
Yes, Millennials will make an impulse purchase if the product looks good. But in general, they are more likely to research information online than the other generations. While television advertising is likely to go unnoticed by Millenials, they will dig into reviews, search Instagram, and look for YouTube videos on the product. They are also big on reaching out to family and friends on social media for advice before making a large purchase. Therefore, you need to make it easy to purchase your CBD and Delta 8 products on various social media platforms.
CBD and other products like personal care, household items, food, and makeup are all part of a category known as FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods). Of the four generational power-buying categories, Millennials have the highest percentage of FMCG purchases. Therefore, making your product accessible and easily purchased on the different social media platforms is essential if you want to attract the buying power of the Millenials.
If you are looking to do more geographically based advertising, you’ll find that Millennials like to live in vibrant, urban areas close to offices, restaurants, and shops. This is especially true in cities like Austin, where there is a thriving art and music scene. If you are looking at the broader geographical picture of the U.S., except for Washington D.C., you will find that the best Millennial markets are located in the western part of the United States.
Generation Z (born 1997-2012)
Generation Z’s Zeal for Activism
While prior generations have certainly had their share of contributions to social causes, few in recent decades have been as committed to these causes as those who belong to Gen Z. Yes, when analyzing each generation, surely the Baby Boomers stand out, especially during the 1960s. The hippie peace and the anti-Vietnam War movement, the Civil Rights movement, and the Women’s movement all began during this time.
We’ve seen the difference that while Baby Boomers expressed their desires through speeches and marches, today’s activists in Gen Z are more likely to have their voices heard through their purchasing decisions. Yes, Gen Z does carry the same kind of passion as their predecessors for protests. Evidence such as the global climate crisis strikes that 16-year-old Greta Thunberg inspired is a perfect example of this. But those in Gen Z are going one step further and are expressing their desires as much through their purchasing habits as anything else.
One of the key elements that Gen Z is now looking for is products from a sustainable source. The idea of sustainability has become an increasingly popular idea because of people’s awareness of global climate change. So much so that the current market estimates that consumers are expected to spend approximately $150 billion by the end of 2021 on sustainable products. And the bulk of these environmentally conscious consumers comes from the Gen Z age range.
Above all of the other generations, Gen Z is also not hesitant to put their money where their mouth is when it comes to these sustainably sourced products. One survey showed that 74% of the polled Gen Z would be happy to pay more for sustainable products. In addition, 54% claimed that they would gladly pay at least 10% more to support these products and the companies that created them.
As a hemp-product retailer, you are in a perfect position to attract buyers from the Gen Z camp. Hemp has a long history and has long been recognized as a highly sustainable crop. In fact, because of its versatility and the fact that it enriches the soil in which it is planted, hemp may be the ideal sustainable source on earth. Therefore, retailers and wholesalers would do well to litter their advertising with reminders that their CBD and Delta 8 products come from sustainable hemp.
Gen Z Loves Social Causes
Gen Z loves social causes as much as they do their environmental causes. Because of this, Gen Zers seek out companies that support social causes that they believe in and that behave in a socially responsible way. For example, one global survey reported that 81% of Generation Z respondents said that purchasing products from companies that were socially responsible or implemented programs to improve the environment were “very” or “extremely” important to them. In addition, as with sustainable products, approximately a third of those surveyed said they would be willing to pay more to support a socially conscious company.
To attract the Generation Z buyer, your company needs to have a socially active presence. This means finding some national and local charities that align with your company’s values. Then, openly support those charities. For example, participate in fundraising or any event where your name can be recognized by Gen Z. Litter your website and social media sites with pictures of your staff participating in these events and make statements of how much money you have raised for these charities. You will win the hearts and wallets of the Generation Z customer.
Generation Z Social Media and Shopping Habits
When it comes to gathering information and shopping, Generation Zers are very social creatures. They rely on information they’ve gathered from friends and online influencers they trust before making a purchase. Then, once they make that purchase, they talk about their experience through social media and report any issues they had with the company after the sale.
Now, while Generation Z relies on social media, they are particular about which platforms they use. For example, while Baby Boomers and Millennials predominantly use Facebook weekly, 89% of Gen Z use YouTube, 74% use Instagram, and 68% enjoy Snapchat.
Because of their overwhelming reliance on YouTube, this provides an opportunity for CBD and Delta 8 THC retailers. Generation Z likes to get advice from influencers who have popular YouTube channels. You may be able to partner with those influencers to help promote your sustainable, environmentally friendly CBD and Delta 8 products.
Any of these popular social media platforms have direct advertising options that you can utilize as well. However, some have strict guidelines on what can be advertised, so be sure to check those guidelines on the social media site before you spend a lot of time and money creating ads specific for that site that you may not be able to use. Be sure to have plenty of available quick links to social media sites on all of your web pages, and encourage your loyal clients to share and promote your products.
One final note of interest about the shopping habits of the Z Generation is their interest in subscription services. Where Baby Boomers got stung on subscription services like DVD rentals, Generation Z has grown up with services like Netflix. Therefore, they are much more comfortable with subscriptions than their older counterparts.
We have also found that Generation Z likes to try items before they buy them. So if you can create a sample program where a Gen Z can get a free or discounted sample of a CBD or Delta 8 product in exchange for a subscription to that product, you are likely to get a lot of bites on that offer. But be sure you make it easy to cancel the subscription. There are many scams out there on CBD and Delta 8 products that offer free samples but make it nearly impossible to cancel the subscription. Because of Generation Z’s social media presence, several bad reviews about their inability to cancel a subscription could completely undermine or be detrimental to your marketing efforts.
Generation Z also loves coupons, discounts, and loyalty rewards. If you have a way of tracking purchases, it is a great idea to send out emails with discount offers to those who have held onto their subscription for a period of time.
The Hemp Doctor Wholesale
If you are a CBD, Delta 8, HHC, or Delta 9 THC product retailer and are looking for a premium quality wholesaler to partner with, then you need to look no further than The Hemp Doctor. From the purity and quality of our products to our vast and diverse inventory, you won’t find a better partner than with The Hemp Doctor. Contact us today to find out how you can become one of our many loyal retail outlets!