Baby Boomers may turn out to be a boon to online commerce

The platforms most used by the over-60s are Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), TikTok and Pinterest. — AFP Relaxnews

Since 2021, the number of Baby Boomers using TikTok has increased by 57%. While Facebook remains their preferred platform, the over-60s are beginning to adopt this new social network and the particular habits that go with it. And with fatter wallets than those of Gen Z, Baby Boomers are becoming a target market for social commerce.

Among Internet users aged 60 to 65, TikTok is the fourth most-used social network, behind Facebook, Instagram and X (formerly Twitter). But it’s the platform with the biggest increase. According to the latest GWI report, the number of “Baby Boomers” using it has increased by 57% since the second quarter of 2021.

And while these Baby Boomers are becoming increasingly comfortable with this social network, they are also picking up the same habits seen among Generation Z when following influencers: the report points out that as their footprint on social networks expands, baby boomers are becoming more responsive to advertising and commercial content. In the US, the number of people who say following influencers is one of the main reasons for using social platforms has increased by 22% since Q2 2021, notes the report.

And in addition to joining in number and becoming more active, the over-60s represent an undeniable asset for platforms looking for growth in the realm of online shopping. According to the report, more baby boomers claim to have a credit card, 63% versus 41% of Generation Z. They are also more likely to have purchased a product or service online in the past week (39% vs. 35%).

With age also comes the advantage of being better paid: 30% of them claim to have a high income, compared with 21% of Gen Z. Their purchasing power is therefore high, with 23% of Baby Boomers saying so versus only 8% of Gen Z.

Yet for the time being few brands are targeting this audience. Only 10% of Baby Boomers feel represented in the ads they see. This may explain why only 17% of those over 65 buy products after having seen them in an ad.

“As a general rule, the more represented people feel, the more responsive they are to advertising. This means there’s a strong business case for marketers adapting the ways they speak to older audiences in the year ahead,” the report points out. – AFP Relaxnews

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