Retailers’ strategies to target extreme demographics will help them acquire an untapped pool of consumers

The COVID-19 pandemic has compelled more conservative or technology-averse consumers to experiment with online shopping to avoid crowded stores and the risk of virus transmission, accelerating the inevitable shift to e-commerce. To capitalize on this trend, retailers are devising strategies to serve extreme demographics. The approach, however, with which each generation is targeted is likely to be distinct, according to GlobalData, a leading data, and analytics company.

To highlight, Camp, a New York-based toy retailer announced a new feature called ‘Present Shop’ on its website, which lets young shoppers buy gifts with minimal guardian supervision. The application requires guardians to assign a budget on the website, designate the recipient, and complete shipping & payment-related formalities. Upon which a one-time code and link are sent to them, which can be used by children while shopping.

Ankita Roy, Retail Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Retailers are adopting new techniques to be innovative and different in their approaches. While Camp’s new feature raises several additional privacy concerns, retailers must handle the situation with utmost sensitivity and should adhere to concerning federal laws. As the toys market remains extremely competitive, such initiatives will help retailers to gain a set of loyal young customers (especially Gen Alpha) who are not likely to switch between different apps once they become used to the interface, and their guardians are satisfied with the data security arrangements.”

At the other extreme, while live streaming, fashion shows, brands interacting via social media, and influential marketing are common in China, the recent clip of ‘Fashion Grandmas’ rehearsing for a TV show caught positive attention and was very well received by millions of followers. The powerful message delivered by these elderly influencers in China gives brands food for thought on how to target these customers.

Roy adds: “China accounted for 25.8% of global retail expenditure in 2020, however, it is expected that the population above the age of 65 years will increase from 10% in 2019 to 14.2% by 2025. The high internet penetration in the country along with the impact of COVID-19 pushed extreme consumer segments including the elderly population to shift to online modes. Brands must learn about their needs and lifestyle to be able to efficiently cater to them. Since this generation is known to be more loyal to brands, there exist opportunities for brands to build a long-term relationship with their customers, thereby encouraging repeat purchases reflecting in more sales.”

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