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50 Percent of Seniors Are Online and Why You Should Care

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Some fairly interesting statistics out of Pew Research Center recently. In June, they released their, “Older Adults and Internet Use” report. (For those who are unfamiliar with the Pew Internet & American Life Project, it is one of seven Pew research centers, with the goal of being a clearing house of information about Internet-related issues and trends.) This report focuses on Internet usage by seniors.

The data in this project illustrates what many people already believe: Baby Boomers and seniors are using the web, on many devices.

You can take it one step farther to say it also begins to prove a significant opportunity for business owners to further build relationships & grow a customer base. (That would be my suggestion.)

Why you should care

I’m actually going to just cut to the chase. (Feel free to use the link in the first paragraph and read through the project … it is fairly short.) Just a warning, though; I’m going to use a few blanket statements in place of statistical data. So, if you want some real factoids, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll post some links.

Project findings aside (we’ll get back to that in a minute), here is the essence of why this (and other data about the Internet, Boomers, seniors, business, etc.) is important.

  • Baby Boomers & seniors are online, and use computers, laptops, tablets and cell phones. (Just like everyone else.)
  • They look for local business information, purchasing ideas, recommendations and chat with their friends via email and Facebook. (Just like everyone else.)
  • Your company really needs to be properly represented online, be where your potential customers are looking for information online, and accessible through a variety of devices and platforms (including desktop, mobile, tablets, search, etc.).
  • The Internet is relevant to your business today and tomorrow, and may be the most important business building tool you ever get.
  • Being able to leverage it is not difficult, it just has to be done correctly.
  • If you don’t capitalize on it, it will be a shame, since so many other companies will (and are).

Sow and Reap

All that said, one point I would like to make is that Baby Boomers are your future customers. They are not afraid of technology now, they use it every day and will continue to do so. (A wise small business owner will see that is an opportunity to help build future business.)

Reach them now when they are taking care of their parents. Cater to them. Make life easier on them, now. Help them. Gain customers for the future.

Baby Boomers are your future customers…

Baby Boomers are your future customers…

A really easy exercise

Many business owners I have talked to have either not figured that last part out or haven’t acted on it. Take a few seconds, close your eyes and think about your local competitors. Which ones have figured that out?

As for the Older Adults and Internet Use research data

Here are a couple of interesting takeaways from the Pew Research study. These stood out to me as something a business owner should pay attention to.

  • Internet use by this group is a daily habit. (Yes, daily.)
  • 70% of seniors own a cell phone. (I will add to that and say, some of them are smart phones. Not a majority; a growing number. That’s becoming important.)
  • 1/3 of seniors use social networking sites. (That just made some people cringe.)
  • 48% of seniors use email every day. (Email.  Every.  Day.  There is a jewel in there.)

 

I would love to hear some of your comments about the study, thoughts about how this information might benefit building a senior-focused business or just say ‘Hi’. Add your 2 cents in the comments section below.

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Comments

  1. avatarJeff says

    These are actually some pretty big numbers. And they represent Now. They will only increase over time. While some people don't consider these numbers very big, the fact remains that seniors are the fastest "growing" segment online. Wayne Gretzky used to say he was successful because he always looked for where the puck was "going." Obviously the numbers of users online are going in the direction of seniors. Good info! Thanks for sharing!

  2. avatarageinplacepros says

    Sage words, indeed, Jeff. I guess what makes it awesome and terrifying at the same time is we DO know where the puck is going. Awesome for those that are willing to act on it; terrifying for communities that aren't.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and let us know if we can ever be of service. ~ Mark

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