The 50+ generation goes online -- and brands and publishers have finally gotten the message. Some, like AARP and Perion, are trying to reach this demographic with deals and gadgets.
AARP launched a Web page on its site specific to Hot Deals, offering brands like Dell, The Hartford, Major League Baseball, and Radio Shack a direct connection to the 50+ crowd. The deals aim to reach AARP's nearly 35 million members -- a majority comprising baby boomers, which Nielsen estimates control $230 billion in sales.
About 74% of all ARRP members sign up looking for discounts, according to Peter Zeuschner, AARP Northeast media sales manager. "The main site generates about 5 million monthly unique visitors," he said. "They spend about 29 minutes on the site."
Zeuschner said the content related to social security issues, technology and health services targeted to the 50+ generation keep visitors on the site. There are more than 20,000 recipes on the site. Many feed between two and four people, rather than three to six.
Founded in 1958, AARP supports nearly 35 million members. Nearly one-third of the members are under age 60, about 46% are between 60 and 74, and 21% are 75 and older.
The key to understanding this demographic resides in recognizing that those who are 50-plus do not fear the Internet or technology, but some need a little convincing and an easy way to access it.
Although 88% of the Americans age 45+ consider themselves slow to adopt technology, research by Perion Network suggests that 85% adopt a new technology when it fits their lifestyle, and 89% will use new technology if it’s better than what they use today.
Perion focuses on software and technology tailored for what Adam Goodvach, director of consumer insight, characterizes as "45+ Second Wave Adopters (SWAs)." He found that this demographic based the decision to adopt or buy specific technology on the practical impact it will have on their lives.
Smartphones may not be the answer for aging adults because of the screen size, but the quick penetration of tablets among Americans age 45 or older offers important clues to the future of mobile services for this demographic. Since this group is willing to embrace technology if presented with a compelling reason, consumer technology companies and brands need to reach out to this market to provide options to the more than 120 million Americans age 45 years or older.