Closing the Age Gap
The pandemic has changed our way of life. To stay connected to our friends and family, to do our shopping we could not rely on meeting others or go into town to buy your groceries. More people got digitized in a smaller timeframe. All ages are adopting new technology and exploring online communicating with friends in new ways, online searching for services and products and buying them online. The pandemic even has forced the less digital savies online. This means a whole new age group needs to be catered for. User interface and easy access to content needs to be more on top of our mind than ever. Companies have to start on closing the age gap.
Finding data on the group 65+ and their use of the internet is quite a search. Most datasets investigate the audience until 64. The age we retire. The age group of 65+ is growing worldwide. But will people stop using their mobile phone, stop shopping online or stop using social media after their 65th birthday?
Closing the Gap
In the last 4 years the use internet for shopping or searching for information by 55-74 year old people in the EU only rose from 55% to 57%.
But with Corona and the lockdowns we see a rise in online shopping behaviour in the group “silver surfers”. ( Source Google Insights-Germany) Since the pandemic in a country like Germany more than 9,5 million people of 55+ shopped online for their first time. Shopping percentage in this group raised with 30 ppt. The largest rise of all age groups. A third of them is stating they will shop online in the post pandemic time.
First time shoppers
In the US the age groups 55-64 and 65+ 29% and 31% did their first online shopping due to the pandemic.
Share of consumers in the United States have bought something online for the first time over the past few weeks due to social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic as of March 26, 2020, by age group
Data Source: Morning consult, March 24-26, 2020: 2,200 respondents: 18 years and older; online survey
The age group of 65+ is preferring social media platforms like Facebook and Whatsapp. Since the pandemic the group 65 + is as large as the group 24-35.
LinkedIn as a social medium platform is being used less, which makes sense as this platform is mainly used for work purposes.
Also Pinterest and Instagram are not popular in this age group.
(source datareport 2020)
Women are twice more active on Facebook (likes/ posts/comments, clicked ads) than men.
55+ using social media for brand research
Rise in use of messenger services
Increased time spend on social media by women
Increased time spend on social media by men
Voice assistant use frequency on smartphones by Age Group
Data shows there is nearly no difference in age groups for people using voicebots as Alexa, Amazon, Siri or Google. The 60+ group is equally represented. This data is pre-corona. (Data Source: Voicebot, 1/19)
The age group +55 and +65 are rising in the use of digital channels for social contact, shopping, searching etc. These numbers will keep rising in the next decade due of more people who adapted the internet earlier in their life reaching this “silver” age. In the survey of Global Web Index globalwebindex.com
we see these people feel less affected with the economic outcome of the pandemic. They keep spending more in comparison with the younger age groups. This makes them an interesting group for companies to focus on. Although this group may be less savvy online, compared with GenX, but they certainly are not naïve.