Senior Citizens Online

02/07/2020
by Tina Manzer

What the Data Reveals

Senior citizens are not tech-phobic old people, says Trinity Insight, a company that provides optimization, digital and e-commerce services.

That couldn’t be farther from the truth, and they have research to prove it. Seniors look a lot like Millennial and Gen-X shoppers; when asked what they do online, 82 percent of older adults say they use search engines and 69 percent use social media daily. And they love video content! It’s just as popular among older adults as their younger counterparts.

“You can learn to appreciate and market to this demographic, or you could be left running to catch up with them over the next decade,” notes an article on trinity.one. Here’s what research from the Philadelphia and Rochester, Minnesota-based tech company revealed.

Seniors are increasingly tech-friendly

There is some truth to the myth that older people are less tech savvy, and compared to members of the younger generation, they’re not on the internet as often. However, their adoption rates continue to climb. In 2016, Trinity revealed that roughly 75 percent of adults over the age of 75 go on the internet each day. Furthermore, 82 percent of 65 to 69-year-olds use the internet daily, compared to 44 percent of adults over the age of 80. Daily internet use declines as senior citizens age, but the decline isn’t as rapid or dramatic as you might think.

Older adults impact e-commerce trends

The role senior shoppers play in the modern e-commerce market cannot be ignored, says Trinity. A report from BigCommerce and Frost Investment Advisors in 2017 revealed that baby boomers make up 41 percent of the e-commerce market. These boomers, typically age 65 to 74, have seen an average 25-percent increase in their overall income since 2001. Millennials, by contrast, have seen an average 18-percent decrease in their income and spending power.

“This isn’t to say that marketing to younger customers needs to be adjusted, but rather to point out that promoting e-commerce content to older adults isn’t a toxic business decision,” says Trinity. “Senior citizens are proficient e-commerce users and have the buying power to shop on a regular basis.”

More are coming

Ten years from now, one in five American residents will be of retirement age. By 2035, people over the age of 65 will outnumber children under the age of 18, according to the U.S. Census.

As older generations expand, so too will their knowledge of technology. By 2035, people in their 40s today will be approaching retirement age. Among them will be early adopters of the internet. By then, they will have used the web for several decades. Even those who are not avid internet users now will have 15 more years to get on board.

They require a different experience

Seniors may be taking a larger share of the online shopping market, but it isn’t necessarily because companies are selling different items. Instead, it will be due to a slow shift as the buying experience caters to seniors’ needs, predicts Trinity. It pointed to a report released by Commonwealth Bank in Australia, which shows how the shopping experience varies between older and younger adults. Here are some highlights.

• Older shoppers still prefer brick-and mortar-locations. They want to touch and try the items before they buy them. For staple items, they switch to online shopping. 

• Before they buy they want all the details, including tax and shipping costs, and any limits to or important information about the items.

• Senior citizens want an easy shopping experience. When they get frustrated, they will find another channel.

• Trust is important in the e-commerce process for customers of all ages, but especially for older people.

Senior citizens also operate on the internet at a slower pace compared to younger users. They are 40-percent slower, on average, at completing web tasks, and they are more likely to give up on a task that they find difficult. To make your website more friendly to older adults, “without infantilizing them,” Trinity offers these suggestions – and says that some are simply web-design basics.

1. Avoid small font sizes, and make it easy to adjust the font sizes on your current site. Make sure there is a significant contrast among colors.

2. Simplify forms, and use tools like auto complete and autocorrect.

3. Avoid rollover items. Adults with motor problems may have a hard time keeping a mouse stable as they navigate your pages. 

4. Optimize for tablets and mobile devices. Older adults are more likely to use tablets for their online usage.

Senior citizens are not tech-phobic old people, says Trinity Insight, a company that provides optimization, digital and e-commerce services.

That couldn’t be farther from the truth, and they have research to prove it. Seniors look a lot like Millennial and Gen-X shoppers; when asked what they do online, 82 percent of older adults say they use search engines and 69 percent use social media daily. And they love video content! It’s just as popular among older adults as their younger counterparts.

“You can learn to appreciate and market to this demographic, or you could be left running to catch up with them over the next decade,” notes an article on trinity.one. Here’s what research from the Philadelphia and Rochester, Minnesota-based tech company revealed.

Seniors are increasingly tech-friendly

There is some truth to the myth that older people are less tech savvy, and compared to members of the younger generation, they’re not on the internet as often. However, their adoption rates continue to climb. In 2016, Trinity revealed that roughly 75 percent of adults over the age of 75 go on the internet each day. Furthermore, 82 percent of 65 to 69-year-olds use the internet daily, compared to 44 percent of adults over the age of 80. Daily internet use declines as senior citizens age, but the decline isn’t as rapid or dramatic as you might think.

Older adults impact e-commerce trends

The role senior shoppers play in the modern e-commerce market cannot be ignored, says Trinity. A report from BigCommerce and Frost Investment Advisors in 2017 revealed that baby boomers make up 41 percent of the e-commerce market. These boomers, typically age 65 to 74, have seen an average 25-percent increase in their overall income since 2001. Millennials, by contrast, have seen an average 18-percent decrease in their income and spending power.

“This isn’t to say that marketing to younger customers needs to be adjusted, but rather to point out that promoting e-commerce content to older adults isn’t a toxic business decision,” says Trinity. “Senior citizens are proficient e-commerce users and have the buying power to shop on a regular basis.”

More are coming

Ten years from now, one in five American residents will be of retirement age. By 2035, people over the age of 65 will outnumber children under the age of 18, according to the U.S. Census.

As older generations expand, so too will their knowledge of technology. By 2035, people in their 40s today will be approaching retirement age. Among them will be early adopters of the internet. By then, they will have used the web for several decades. Even those who are not avid internet users now will have 15 more years to get on board.

They require a different experience

Seniors may be taking a larger share of the online shopping market, but it isn’t necessarily because companies are selling different items. Instead, it will be due to a slow shift as the buying experience caters to seniors’ needs, predicts Trinity. It pointed to a report released by Commonwealth Bank in Australia, which shows how the shopping experience varies between older and younger adults. Here are some highlights.

• Older shoppers still prefer brick-and mortar-locations. They want to touch and try the items before they buy them. For staple items, they switch to online shopping. 

• Before they buy they want all the details, including tax and shipping costs, and any limits to or important information about the items.

• Senior citizens want an easy shopping experience. When they get frustrated, they will find another channel.

• Trust is important in the e-commerce process for customers of all ages, but especially for older people.

Senior citizens also operate on the internet at a slower pace compared to younger users. They are 40-percent slower, on average, at completing web tasks, and they are more likely to give up on a task that they find difficult. To make your website more friendly to older adults, “without infantilizing them,” Trinity offers these suggestions – and says that some are simply web-design basics.

1. Avoid small font sizes, and make it easy to adjust the font sizes on your current site. Make sure there is a significant contrast among colors.

2. Simplify forms, and use tools like auto complete and autocorrect.

3. Avoid rollover items. Adults with motor problems may have a hard time keeping a mouse stable as they navigate your pages. 

4. Optimize for tablets and mobile devices. Older adults are more likely to use tablets for their online usage.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.