Silver Marketing: seniors, the future of e-commerce?

Nicolas Schmitz, 2018/07/10

How do seniors behave on the internet? Why should we include this category of the population in our online strategies? How to adapt your digital communication to this segment?

Silver Marketing: seniors, the future of e-commerce?

The rise of new technologies and the massive digitization of our lifestyles have been experienced in totally different ways, depending on the social and professional categories, but more so on a generational level.

Being for the most part "digital natives" we grew up with the internet and saw the possibilities offered by this great tool to make our life easier. This is not the case for the "senior" generation that has had to adapt to this major change, both in their work environment and in their daily lives. To better manage the digital transition and help employees better adopt their new work tools, new jobs dedicated to driving change have emerged.

Logically, marketing strategies on the web have for a long time targeted the "digital natives" and more broadly the - 50 years, a population more educated on the web and therefore potentially more convertible. Nowadays, seniors seem much more inclined to use the internet but also to shop there. Strategies targeting this population mainly on the web then appeared: this concept is called "silver marketing".

Behaviors and consumer trends of seniors on the internet

In any marketing strategy, it’s important to identify and understand your target in order to provide an offer that meets the expectations of the target. To do this, many studies for the most part are available .. but you're lucky, Subforce summarizes for you the general trends for seniors on the web!

All the statistics presented in this document come from the very serious Statista and concerns the senior population in France in 2018 (Statista is a statistical site, market research and a business intelligence portal created in 2007).

First of all, if you want to reach seniors: it will be via desktop campaigns, in fact, the computer is the most used support and more than 60% of them have one, far ahead of the smartphone (30%) and the tablet (20%).

Seniors are very present on some social networks, mainly those offering messaging services or remote calls such as: Messenger (40%), Skype (60%) and Whatsapp (25%). On the other hand, the use they have of the Internet is very standardized, sending daily mail for 90% of them, followed by news for 60% and a statistic that will necessarily interest you: 55% buy online more than once a month.
To summarize: They represent 35% of the French population which makes 24 000 000 people, so there is potentially more than 12 000 000 regular consumers of e-commerce in the senior population and this figure will continue to grow over the years. Interesting, is not it?
In addition, the assumptions we have about our elders and their consideration of the web now seem mostly wrong. About 80% of people over 50 believe that the Internet helps improve their lives and therefore have a positive image digital technology and its impact on their lives.

Of course, there are some brakes for some of this population who do not understand and feel comfortable on the internet (20%), do not trust (7%) or have no device adapted (4%). However, these brakes do not seem insurmountable either, and we are confident that these figures are likely to decrease, thanks to the mediation and education facilities set up by the government and dedicated to this part of the population.

Tips to interest and engage seniors on your website

# 1 Communicate in a simple way avoiding words that are too technical

Seniors are certainly more willing to surf the internet than before, so far they do not understand all. So try to give the information in precise ways without using a vocabulary too technical or too new wave ..

# 2 Prefer a readable design with clear information

Be clear, and put forward essential information for your audience rather than complicating everything in search of aesthetics. For this purpose you can refer to the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines).
If you want to broaden your horizons and also make your website accessible to people with disabilities, you will find a dedicated article on our blog.

# 3 Pay attention to security and data protection

Seniors have a positive image of the web but they remain extremely sensitive to internet security. As a result, you must avoid excessive identification processes as much as possible and explain concretely how you will use the few data you collect on your site. On the other hand, be sure to include general conditions of use and / or sale if you have an e-commerce site. You will also find an article dedicated to legal notices and conditions of use on our blog if you want more information. 

Today's seniors are no longer those of 10 years ago, the digital transition has made its way and there is a standardization of Internet practices across generations. Our alumni therefore seem to be the future of e-commerce and not taking into account this segment of the population in your digital marketing strategies could be damaging for your business.


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