Product manufacturers, electronics retailers and service providers catering to older people continue to miss the mark when it comes to reaching an audience with spending power and an increasing interest in crossing the ‘Great Digital Divide’.
Recent reports, both from Australia and the US, suggest that 65-90 year olds form a ‘new generation’ subtly driving the technology industry for themselves, their families and professional caregivers.
A study for Varsity Branding reveals a generation of older adults using technology based on personal preferences, physical and logistical limitations and health concerns.
It also identifies issues encountered while shopping, and the factors influencing purchasing decisions. The findings include:
- 'Transitionals' - a demographic mix of Depression-era Silent Generation and early Boomers - are the driving force behind product usage and expectations formerly the realm of younger consumers
- Children and grandchildren remain top influencers for education, purchase recommendations and even repairs
- Too many retirement and ‘seniors’ communities maintain outdated infrastructure, with limited Wi-Fi that hinders personal, ageing in place, and healthcare technology applications
- Understanding differences between similar products such as cameras, laptops and smartphones is a challenge
- Tablets are slowly replacing newspapers, magazines, books, cameras and even musical instruments
- Internet browsing and shopping are now leisure activities, and many are influenced by mobile content, and
- Interest in Apps leans to those providing health-related information.