To what extent is the consumer behaviour of Millennial’s different to that of Baby Boomers in the area of retail buying? (Riva, Elisa, 2017, Brain, Graphic Image, Pixabay, viewed 25 March 2017)

Who are millenniaL'S?

The term “Millennial” is used to describe anyone born between the years 1982 and 2004 (Investopedia, 2017). This younger demographic is often described as one that, “chase[s] popularity and fashion, cares about their appearance, [has] a strong curiosity, and [is] keen to track and capture the subtle changes in the forefront of beauty (Yazdanifard, 2014, p. 152).” Millennials often adhere to the belief that the most important thing is to enjoy the present and to possess a lifestyle that provides the freedom and flexibility to do so. Thus, they are often classified as enthusiastic buyers of the latest clothing, technology, and recreational products (Yazdanifard, 2014, pp. 152-153).

(OpenClipart-Vectors, People, Graphic Image, Pixabay, viewed 25 March 2017)

Who are Baby Boomers?

The term “Baby Boomer” refers to persons born between 1946 and 1964. Often this demographic is described as being an above average socioeconomic group with its members being twice as likely as the average person to exceed $50,000 in annual income. Cutting-edge boomers often own their own homes, purchase top-end appliances, and exhibit a general willingness to spend more money on goods that they believe are top-of-the-line. They also spend a large portion of their income on leisure activities, travelling, and their families (Iyer and Reisenwitz, 2010, pp. 28-29.)

What is consumer behaviour?

On the surface consumer behaviour “is the study of the processes involved when individuals or groups select, purchase, use, or dispose of products, services, ideas, or experiences to satisfy needs and desires (Solomon, Bamossy, and Askegaard, 1999, p. 5). However, upon closer examination of the field of consumer behaviour one finds that this field of study is rooted deeply within marketing strategy. Consumer behaviour focuses on how individuals make decisions to spend resources, such as time, money, and effort, on the consumption of goods and services (Solomon, Bamossy, and Askegaard, 1999). In terms of consumption, consumer behaviour examines numerous aspects of an individual’s purchasing habits, such as: what a consumer will buy, when and where a purchase is made, how much money will be spent, and why the purchase is made by a consumer (Solomon, Bamossy, and Askegaard, 1999). An analysis of an individual’s purchasing habits helps marketers evaluate consumers’ post-decision behaviour. In other words, by evaluating a consumer’s decision making process, marketers can determine an individual’s reason for purchasing a good, their experience while consuming this good, and the likelihood of purchasing this product again (Schiffman and Kanuk, 2009).

(Riva, Elisa, 2017, Brain bulb, Graphic Image, Pixabay, viewed 25 March 2017)

Emergence of consumer behavior

Consumer behaviour is closely aligned with the discipline and practices of Marketing. Marketing relies on many disciplines, concepts, and theories. However, early marketing practices did not place a strong emphasis on the psychology of individual customers. Over the years, marketing trends shifted and led to new research methodology, as well as the development of new theories within the study of consumer behaviour. Marketers now know that by better understanding the customers they are trying to reach, they can produce more effective marketing strategies that more clearly meet the consumer's needs (Shaw and Jones, 2005, pp. 239-241). IMAGE: (Geralt, 2016, Money Hands, Graphic Image, Pixabay, viewed 25 March 2017)

Decisions

Everyone makes numerous decisions in their day-to-day life. In most cases, several factors ultimately determine the choices that an individual makes. Often, people do not take the necessary time to stop and fully contemplate the process that led to a decision or choice. According to Schiffman and Kanuk, “A decision is the selection of an option from two or more alternative choices (Schiffman and Kanuk, 2009).” He goes on to argue that in order for a person to make a decision, alternative choices must be available to a person (Schiffman and Kanuk, 2009). In other words, one must have options. If there are no alternatives and one must go forth with one particular action, that action inherently does not result in decision. Schiffman and Kanuk also defined consumer decision making as, “the process of making purchase decisions based on cognitive and emotional influences such as impulse, family, friends, advertisers, role models, and moods (Schiffman and Kanuk, 2009, pp. 625).” As these cognitive and emotional influences change over time, so to do a consumer’s purchase behaviours (Yazdanifard, 2014, p. 151).

.

(Riva, Elisa, 2017, Man, Graphic Image, Pixabay, viewed 23 March 2017)

Consumer Decision Making Model

(Schiffman & Kanuk, 2009, p. 351)

As the previous section alludes to, consumer decision-making processes inevitably change as the needs, wants, and desires of the aforementioned consumer change. In order to adjust to these changes in the consumer decision-making process, marketers employ an analytical technique known as segmenting. Marketers often use segmentation to divide prospective buyers into groups that possess common needs and responses to marketing strategies and actions. Such a practice allows marketers to more adequately fulfil certain consumer’s needs more effectively. One example of segmenting is the division of possible consumers into generational categories (Yazdanifard, 2014, pp. 151-153).

The consumer decision-making model, as it pertains to purchase and consumption situations, consist of three tiers. The first tier is referred to as “Input” and is concerned largely with external influences that affect a consumer’s product related values, attitude, and behaviour. The second tier, referred to as “Process,” deals with the process of how consumers make decisions. Lastly, the third tier “Output,” concerns two post-decision activities: purchase behaviour and post-purchase evaluation the object of both of these activities is to increase the consumer’s satisfaction with their purchase choice (Schiffman and Kanuk, 2009). image: (Riva, Elisa, 2017, Brain Colors, Graphic Image, Pixabay, viewed 23 March 2017)

Through the use of this decision-making model, one can determine the various ways in which consumer behaviour differs between the Millennial and Baby Boomer generations with regard to retail shopping. This website will focus on the second tier of the model, “Process: Consumer Decision Making.” The activity of decision-making is based on five essential factors: (1) psychological influences, (2) need recognition, (3) prepurchase search, (4) evaluation of alternatives, and (5) experience (Schiffman and Kanuk, 2009) The purpose of the “Process” stage is to understand how consumers make decisions. First, one must take into account the psychological influences on a decision, such as motivation, perception, personality, learning, and attitudes. These influences lead the to need recognition, pre-purchase search, and the evaluation of alternatives (Schiffman and Kanuk, 2009).

The Consumer Decision-Making Model as an Analytical Tool to Understand Differences in the Retail Experiences

It is important to evaluate the different tendencies and behaviours of Millennials and Baby Boomers within the Consumer Decision-Making Model by focusing on the second tier, also referred to as the “Process” tier. Millennials and Baby Boomers have different psychological influences when making a decision to purchase a retail good or service (Business Insider, 2015).

(Tumisu, 2016, Maclike, Graphic Image, Pixabay, viewed 23 March 2017)

Millennials may be influenced by their peer groups, popular culture, and innovative technologies (McPherson, 2016). Meanwhile, Baby Boomers may be influenced by factors like familial responsibilities, urgency, brand reputation, and traditional practices (McPherson, 2016). These influencing factors lead to differing needs among these two demographics. For instance, Millennials are often perceived to be tech-savvy and desire to pursue progressive consumer trends by making purchases through technology or online (Newman, 2010). Conversely, Baby Boomers are described as a demographic with significantly more disposable income than millennials and a willingness to travel to stores to see and touch a product before they make a purchase (Newman, 2010). Thus, Millennials attempt to meet their needs by being part of a collaborative, progressive, and technology driven consumer experience. Baby Boomer tend more towards the traditional, in-store consumer behaviour that they and their parents experienced in the past. For example, a 2016 research survey conducted by Oracle reveals that nearly 71% of Baby Boomers prefer to purchase goods in stores while 54% of Millennials prefer a similar purchasing method (Oracle Corporation, 2016, p. 4).

One way that Millennials try to conduct a pre-purchase search is through the use of technology. The aforementioned Oracle survey found that nearly 41% of millennials shopped online at least once a week. Additionally, roughly 37% of Millennials shopped from their mobile device in the past year (McPherson, 2016). Millennials also had a strong desire (96%) to view product info through a mobile device while in a store (McPherson, 2016). Clearly, the millennial pre-purchase process is driven by technology. Contrary to their younger counterparts, the percentage of Baby Boomers who shopped online once a week only hit 16%. The differences persisted in the pre-purchase process with only 68% of Baby Boomers showing a strong desire to view product info through a mobile device while in a store and a mere 5% admitting to using an app to make a purchase in the past year (McPherson, 2016). As the previous paragraph stated, the Baby Boomer pre-purchase search seems to consist largely of an in-person and in-store verification of the quality of a good. IMAGE: (Clker-Free-Vector-Images, 2012, Orange Brain, Pixabay, viewed 23 March 2017)

The final stages of the consumer decision-making process evaluates an individual’s willingness and ability to evaluate alternatives. Based on the statistical information, Millennials are more willing and able to seek out alternatives in the purchasing process. Millennials are 32% more likely to use an app or mobile device to evaluate alternative purchasing experiences, such as comparing the prices, quality, and availability of a retail good (Oracle Corporation, 2016, p. 4). Similarly, the data suggests that Baby Boomers are more likely to take a conservative approach and not seek technological alternatives to their purchasing experience. Baby Boomers are 17% more likely to stick to a traditional, in-person shopping experience (Oracle Corporation, 2016, p. 4). Through this process of identifying one’s psychological influences, recognising one’s needs, conducting a pre-purchase search, and evaluating possible alternatives, one creates an individualised consumer decision-making experience. Depending on these psychological influences and a consumer’s ability to meet their needs, each demographic could have a completely different consumer experience. In this final stage, a consumer takes all of the aforementioned factors into account and determines whether they will make a repeat purchase or had an unsatisfactory retail experience.

(Riva, Elisa, 2017, Bulb Grass, Graphic Image, Pixabay, viewed 23 March 2017)
(Riva, Elisa, 2017, Faces Face, Graphic Image, Pixabay, viewed 23 March 2017)

end

works cited

Books

Schiffman, LG & Kanuk, LL, 2009, Consumer Behavior, 9th edn, Pearson Prentice Hall Publishing, New Jersey.

Solomon, M, Bamossy, G, and Askegaard, S, 1999, Consumer Behaviour: A European Perspective, Pearson Prentice Hall Publishing, New Jersey.

Journal Articles

Iyer, R, and Reisenwitz, T 2010, ‘Understanding Cognitive Age: The Boomers’ Perspective’, Marketing Management Journal, volume 20, issue 2, pp. 28-41.

Shaw, E, and Jones, DGB 2005, ‘A History of Schools of Marketing Thought’, Marketing Theory, vol. 5, issue 3, pp. 239-281.

Yazdanifard, D, 2014, ‘How Consumer Decision Making Process Differ From Youngster to Older Consumer Generation’, Journal of Research in Marketing, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 151-156.

Webpages, Websites, and Blogs

Business Insider, 2015, These Findings About How Millennials and Baby Boomers Shop May Surprise You, Synchrony Financial, viewed 25 March 2017, http://www.businessinsider.com/sc/how-millennials-and-baby-boomers-shop-2015-4?IR=T

Hendrix, M, & Gualtieri, W, The Millennium Generation: Research Review, National Chamber Foundation, Washington D.C., viewed 26 March 2017, https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/sites/default/files/article/foundation/MillennialGeneration.pdf

History 2010, Baby Boomers, History, viewed 26 March 2017, http://www.history.com/topics/baby-boomers.

Investopedia 2017, Millennial, Investopedia, viewed 25 March 2017, http://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/millennial.asp

McPherson, Mia 2016, ‘Millennials vs. Baby Boomers: Retail Buying Behaviors Revealed’, The Art of Commerce Blog, web log post, 14 December, viewed 27 March 2017, https://blogs.oracle.com/cx/commerce/millennials-vs-baby-boomers-retail-buying-behaviors-revealed

Newman, Cara 2010, ‘Boomers to Millennials: Generational Attitudes’, Young Money Finance Blog, web log post, 10 April, viewed 26 March 2017, http://finance.youngmoney.com/careers/boomers-to-millennials-generational-attitudes/

Oracle Corporation 2016, ‘The Power and the Money: How Millennials and Baby Boomers are Shaping the Today and Tomorrow of Global Retail’, prepared by Oracle Corporation Retail Department, Redwood City, California.

IMAGES

Clker-Free-Vector-Images, 2012, Orange Brain, Pixabay, viewed 23 March 2017,

https://pixabay.com/en/brain-intelligence-human-science-311522/

Geralt, 2016, Money Hands, Graphic Image, Pixabay, viewed 25 March 2017

https://pixabay.com/en/dollar-hands-shake-panama-papers-1319598/

OpenClipart-Vectors, People, Graphic Image, Pixabay, viewed 25 March 2017

https://pixabay.com/en/accountant-microsoft-excel-counting-1794122/

Riva, Elisa, 2017, Brain, Graphic Image, Pixabay, viewed 25 March 2017, https://pixabay.com/en/brain-mind-psychology-idea-hearts-2062048/

Riva, Elisa, 2017, Brain bulb, Graphic Image, Pixabay, viewed 25 March 2017,

https://pixabay.com/en/brain-mind-psychology-idea-hearts-2062053/

Riva, Elisa, 2017, Brain Colors, Graphic Image, Pixabay, viewed 23 March 2017,

https://pixabay.com/en/brain-mind-psychology-idea-hearts-2062048/

Riva, Elisa, 2017, Bulb Grass, Graphic Image, Pixabay, viewed 23 March 2017,

https://pixabay.com/en/echo-environmentally-sustainable-1976741/

Riva, Elisa, 2017, Man, Graphic Image, Pixabay, viewed 23 March 2017,

Riva, Elisa, 2017, Faces Face, Graphic Image, Pixabay, viewed 23 March 2017,

https://pixabay.com/en/head-brain-thoughts-human-body-1965675/

(Schiffman & Kanuk, 2009, p. 351)

Tuminsu, 2016, Maclike, Graphic Image, Pixabay, viewed 23 March

2017https://pixabay.com/en/accounting-statistics-excel-finance-1928237/

Created By
Jaddah Collins
Appreciate

Credits:

Clker-Free-Vector-Images, 2012, Orange Brain, Pixabay, viewed 23 March 2017, https://pixabay.com/en/brain-intelligence-human-science-311522/ OpenClipart-Vectors, People, Graphic Image, Pixabay, viewed 25 March 2017 Geralt, 2016, Money Hands, Graphic Image, Pixabay, viewed 25 March 2017 https://pixabay.com/en/dollar-hands-shake-panama-papers-1319598/ Riva, Elisa, 2017, Brain, Graphic Image, Pixabay, viewed 25 March 2017, https://pixabay.com/en/brain-mind-psychology-idea-hearts-2062048/ Riva, Elisa, 2017, Brain bulb, Graphic Image, Pixabay, viewed 25 March 2017, https://pixabay.com/en/brain-mind-psychology-idea-hearts-2062053/ Riva, Elisa, 2017, Brain Colors, Graphic Image, Pixabay, viewed 23 March 2017, https://pixabay.com/en/brain-mind-psychology-idea-hearts-2062048/ Riva, Elisa, 2017, Bulb Grass, Graphic Image, Pixabay, viewed 23 March 2017, https://pixabay.com/en/echo-environmentally-sustainable-1976741/ Riva, Elisa, 2017, Faces Face, Graphic Image, Pixabay, viewed 23 March 2017, https://pixabay.com/en/head-brain-thoughts-human-body-1965675/ (Schiffman & Kanuk, 2009, p. 351)

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