Baby boomer women are a unique set of shoppers

March 20, 2014By Focus on the Pharmacy Front End Blog, Independent Pharmacy

by Jenny Kosek

Baby boomer women aged 50+ own more than three fourths of our nation’s financial wealth. These women are the healthiest, wealthiest, and most active generation of women in history. They are an incredibly important market in the HBW/CPG space, contributing to 93% of all OTC sales. And they seem to love independents.

Our own research has shown that boomer women are the largest contingency of independent pharmacy shoppers. Of 477 independent pharmacy shoppers we interviewed, 67 percent were women and 52 percent were aged 51 or over. But just because older women are shopping independents doesn’t mean they have to continue to do so – and that’s where the opportunity lies.

Baby Boomer women

This generation of women is not the support-hose-and-walker-wielding, standard-issue-grey-perm generation that came before them. Baby boomer women are not aging gracefully, but defiantly; they are not getting old, but staying young.  They rely on OTC products to conceal, repair, and prevent additional signs of aging, and to maintain their energy and health. Accordingly, they will prefer to shop with retailers who understand their mindset and are excited to support their unique wellness needs.

But be warned:  those retailers need not be brick and mortar. 72% of boomers shop online, further emphasizing the importance of creating a welcoming and memorable experience to keep them coming through your doors. These ladies are your core customers. Take care of them, and they’ll take care of you.

What can you do to keep boomer women engaged with your store?

  • Feature women their age in your marketing and in-store promotions
    • If young faces are all they see, these shoppers will feel disconnected from your store and will turn to online or competitor retailers.
  • End-cap strategically.
    • Consider your assortment and emphasize products that might appeal to this demographic. Therapeutic skin and hair care, “age defying” cosmetics, bone support supplements, and specific feminine care and sexual health products would make a unique “Fabulous Over 50” display.
  • Host community wellness events tailored to the needs of active older women.
    •  Connect with a local yoga studio to offer a chair yoga session with gentle poses to retain flexibility and strength, or work with nearby medical professionals to offer nutrition and lifestyle workshops that meet the needs of a population looking to stay active and vital for years to come.

This generation of women came of age leading revolutions, and they’re not done yet. They continue to alter our thinking about what it means to be women at all stages of life, and set an inspiring example to younger women that age is just a number, and life is to be lived (and you might as well look good doing it!). We should match their spirit and energy by revolutionizing the way we market and merchandise to them.

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