Senior citizens also more than hold their own online. Although there is still a division between the 65 to 75-year-olds and those over 75, an average of 80% have access to the Internet. 65% of these people sometimes make online purchases (CBS 2016) and this percentage is rising rapidly due to new entrants (81% of the age group 45 to 65 - those who will soon join the over-65s - make online purchases). We can only conclude that this is a very promising target group. It's a group that wants to feel heard but is not understood by today's marketer (aged 25-45 years), and is frankly often ignored.
Content is rarely geared to this target group. In general, retailers and marketing departments mostly focus on the 25 to 49 age-group. Senior citizens themselves say that when the older group is actually targeted, it is rarely done in the right way. It is mainly content that focuses on the stereotype senior citizen (a cheerful grey-haired featherbrain who needs a hearing aid or walk-in shower and is helped by a young hero). This often does not match the lifestyle of the over-sixties. For example, most senior citizens often walk, cycle and like gardening, but that vitality is rarely portrayed. Portrayals are based on what senior citizens can no longer do, while they prefer to associate themselves with what they can all do.
This is also reflected in magazines and folders. For example, female models are almost always depicted between 25 and 35 and hardly any older models are photographed. It is thought that this appeals to a broader target group, but this promising target group sees this rather differently. Also shops and webshops are often unattractive for older people. So they also say that it's increasingly difficult to shop.
The average shopping street is mainly peopled with older consumers during the day. In spite of this, clothes stores in particular have loud dance music blasting from speakers, and the aisles in these shops are often very narrow. Notices and labels that are hard to read, and small fitting rooms, also put off older people. Online shopping can also be made more attractive for the elderly. Text is often hard to read and navigation is often not intuitive and therefore difficult to understand.
Faced with a group that is growing so rapidly and can generate a lot of turnover, the retailer will have to start thinking seriously about content for older people. How is your shop relevant? What changes in content should be made to address this group, and how can communication differentiate? Content can be adapted by acquiring good insights into the customer journeys of the various target groups. Flexible content is key! Do you have a lot of older people in your shop during the day, and young adults at the weekend? Make sure you can show different messages with digital content. But it starts with good insights into the target group. We advise everyone to engage with the target group and we can assure you that surprising, useful insights will follow immediately.