The Silver Surfer?

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Demographic research into 50+ age group & internet usage

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The Silver Surfer?

  1. 1. The Silver Surfer? Demographic research into 50+ age group & internet usage Kathryn Corrick, July 2008
  2. 2. Contents <ul><li>Background </li></ul><ul><li>What does our demographic look like? </li></ul><ul><li>General trends </li></ul><ul><li>Internet trends </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusions </li></ul>
  3. 3. Background <ul><li>The term Silver Surfers ‘traditionally’ has been used to describe those over 50 who use or surf the internet. </li></ul><ul><li>Whilst ten years ago, when the internet was more associated with youth, this may have seemed an appropriate demographic demarcation, the increase in internet usage across all age groups, increasing life expectancy and the rise in the population of those over 50. </li></ul><ul><li>This presentation gives an over view of data and trends describing this age group (50+) and their use of the internet. And indicates that we may need to re-configure our understanding of this age group and how they use internet technologies. </li></ul>
  4. 4. What does the demographic look like?
  5. 5. 50-65 year olds The Baby Boomers (or near enough) Officially those born between 1946 and the early 1960s.
  6. 6. And 65+… ? Is this age group nearer to the description Silver Surfer, or do we need another term?
  7. 7. And sometimes like this… Are these our Silver Surfers?
  8. 8. Audience: general trends
  9. 9. A global perspective <ul><li>The world is growing older. By 2020, close to 50% of the adult population will be aged 50 or over. </li></ul><ul><li>In the future, the over-50s could be more important than the youth market ­ especially as many people over 50 have considerable spending power. </li></ul><ul><li>The move away from the traditional single lifecycle structure continues. </li></ul><ul><li>Rising divorce rates and the increasing number of re-marriages means that more people find themselves revisiting life stages, but under different circumstances. </li></ul><ul><li>The gay consumer is of increasing importance with a huge rise in the number of same sex partner households, presenting a further challenge to the general understanding of life-stage. </li></ul>
  10. 10. A changing and increasing older UK population
  11. 11. Population - 20 million aged 50 and over <ul><li>There were 20 million people aged 50 and over in the United Kingdom in 2003. </li></ul><ul><li>The number is projected to increase by 36 per cent by 2031, when there will be 27.2 million people aged 50 and over. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Living arrangements - 3 in 5 women aged 75+ live alone <ul><li>Older women were twice as likely as older men to live alone and the proportion increases with advancing age. </li></ul><ul><li>Among women aged 75 and over who live in private households in Great Britain, 60 per cent lived alone in 2002 compared with 29 per cent of men of the same age. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Housing - 1 in 2 aged 50+ own home outright <ul><li>Most older households in Great Britain live in owner-occupied homes. </li></ul><ul><li>Over half owned their homes outright and just under a quarter were buying their home with a mortgage in 2003/04. </li></ul><ul><li>The proportion of owner occupiers decreases with age from 79 per cent for the 50-64 age group to 63 per cent for those aged 85 and over. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Labour market - 1 in 5 older workers self-employed <ul><li>In spring 2004, 19 per cent of people aged 50 and over were self-employed, compared with 14 per cent of people aged 25-49. </li></ul><ul><li>Older men were more than twice as likely as women to be self-employed: 26 per cent compared with 11 per cent respectively. </li></ul>
  15. 15. A change in outlook <ul><li>The aspirations of the over-fifties is not that different to those of younger groups. Research shows, that the over-fifties have much in common with childless 30-year-olds. Both groups are ethically aware, optimistic and have a sense of adventure. </li></ul><ul><li>Research by Saga found that the older you get, the less you tend to worry about the future </li></ul><ul><ul><li>17 per cent of the over 50s said they worried less as they got older </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>52 per cent of those under 50 stating that they worry more as they get older. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This suggests that your outlook changes dramatically when you reach 50, dispelling the age-old view that the mid-life crisis hits around this age. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Two key trends <ul><li>According to Verdict Consulting, two main trends underpin the growing significance of the older consumer: </li></ul><ul><li>1. The ageing UK population means that the number of 65-74s in the population will grow by 28% over the next ten years, the over 75s will grow by 19%. </li></ul><ul><li>2. A shift in mindset will produce an older consumer with a younger outlook: one who will shop for a far wider variety of products and who will be much more avaricious in their buying habits than older consumers today. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Audience: general online trends
  18. 18. The 55+ age group is an increasing share of the internet population Different sources for 2007 give difference percentages for the share of visits by 55+ year olds but all show an increase <ul><li>Nielsen – 19% of 55+ </li></ul><ul><li>Hitwise – 22% of 55+ </li></ul><ul><li>OfCom – 25% of 50+ </li></ul><ul><li>OfCom - 16% of 65+ </li></ul>
  19. 19. Frequency of internet usage has increased across all ages groups, but dramatically for the 55+ category Source: National Statistics – Internet Access Report August 2007
  20. 20. UK average monthly hours spent online Source: OfCom 2007 According to OfCom some 16% of over-65s use the web. They surf for 42 hours every month, more than any other age group. Baby Boomers Silver Surfers?
  21. 21. What are people doing online overall? Source: National Statistics – Internet Access Report August 2007
  22. 22. Average age of users of key websites and brands often higher than expected Well known, established retail brands such as Marks & Spencer and John Lewis are popular with older audiences. Sectors most visited: retail, banking/finance and telecoms.
  23. 23. Internet usage has edged ahead of DIY and gardening as pensioners (over 60s) favourite hobby <ul><li>AXA's Global Retirement Scope Report in February 2007 Survey found: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Using the internet is the preferred hobby of pensioners </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Four in ten retired people are regular e-shoppers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>88% of silver surfers chat regularly with friends and family over the internet </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Preferred pastimes for pensioners: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Internet usage 41% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>DIY / Gardening 39% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Specialist interest 36% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Travel 28% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Walking / hiking 28% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Source: AXA's Global Retirement Scope Report 2007 </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. The internet as a communication tool is key usage for this age group
  25. 25. Most popular online activities for UK pensioners <ul><li>The AXA survey found that Britons were amongst the top five users of 'web time' in the nations surveyed for the global study. Activities included chatting to friends, emailing, searching for information, organising finances: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E-mailing 84% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Searching for information 83% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Purchase travel tickets 45% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Banking 35% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Read the news 28% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>66% regularly contact their children online </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>42% chat or email their grandchildren over the internet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>45% of retirees use the net to book flight, cruise or coach tickets. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>33% use the internet to pick up the latest CD, DVD or theatre tickets. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>11% purchase essential items like groceries online </li></ul></ul>Source: AXA's Global Retirement Scope Report 2007
  26. 26. Online banking increasingly popular
  27. 27. 55-64 year olds: 425% increase in use of online banking services between 2001 – 2006 (APACS survey) Source: APACS December 2006 Sandra Quinn, director of communications at APACS, said: “ Our research shows that more and more people are turning to the internet rather than the phone to manage their finances. While younger people continue to make up the majority of online banking users, the greatest proportion of new internet bankers are the over 55s. As a group they have come to embrace the ease and efficiency that online banking offers.”
  28. 28. 55+: Savvy travellers <ul><ul><li>86% of all surfers aged over 50 have visited a travel site in 2006. 1.5 million of them visited the secure pages of a travel website to make a booking in September 2005. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The most popular travel site with the over 50's is Expedia - ahead of second placed Lastminute.com </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Overall, pure online travel sites are more popular with the over 50's than the traditional high street brands </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The over 50's are ‘looking & booking’ online more than their younger counterparts - accessing the secured section of travel websites to make bookings much more regularly. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nielsen described the lucrative over 50's age group as a ‘wide and varied audience hungry for travel experiences and adept at using the internet to get the best deals’. </li></ul></ul>Source: Nielsen//Net Ratings 2006
  29. 29. Social media increasingly becoming age neutral but not yet as used in 65+ age group
  30. 30. Social media usage Source: CIM Presentation 2007 <ul><li>Average of Google Video and YouTube = 39 </li></ul><ul><li>Average age of Friends Reunited users = 43.8 </li></ul><ul><li>Average age of Facebook users = 34.6 </li></ul><ul><li>Average age of Saga Zone user = 62 </li></ul><ul><li>Almost as many 55+ year olds use Facebook globally as 25-34 year olds </li></ul><ul><li>18% of 50-64 year olds use social networks </li></ul><ul><li>6% of 65+ year olds use social networks </li></ul>Distribution of social network users 2007 Composition of Facebook and MySpace users 2007
  31. 31. Conclusions <ul><ul><li>The aspirations of the over-fifties is not that different to those of younger groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Baby boomers and ‘silver surfers’ are not averse to digital technology. Their motivations for going online are the similar as other generations: socialising, communication , learning, sharing, shopping, bargain hunting, organising </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Like all other ages groups usage of all digital media is rapidly increasing. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It is no longer a matter of what kind of sites/services this demographic are not using, rather which ones are they using more than others. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This age group use sites of brands they are familiar with and trust offline – eg. BBC, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer’s </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adventurous, wanting new experiences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Key areas: travel, gardening, communication </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Segmentation rather than generalisation, such as the term Silver Surfer, is key to understanding this evolving marketplace, to understand more groups of smaller audiences, rather than the global whole. </li></ul>

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