Are the UK’s SMEs forgetting the elderly market?

Many retailers with an online presence could be missing out on a large portions of their potential market, according to new research.


Just one in five marketers targets older shoppers over the age of 55, despite the fact this age group is set to spend more than £14.45 billion online this year.


That is according to Greenlight, a digital marketing agency, who discovered that this particular part of the population could have a huge influence on the future of many small retailers.


By 2025, the over 55s in the UK will account for a third of the overall population and for two-thirds of all retail activity.


Engaging with this age group is therefore vital to long term planning and success, with those companies who do it sooner more likely to see the benefits.


Interesting customer trends


The research also revealed some interesting trends about online habits among the over 55s, as nine out of ten of those questioned said they use the internet to research products.


This means they have a high level of engagement with ecommerce sites which highlights the need for marketers and retailers to ensure they are targeting them.


Laptops were found to be the most used piece of technology, with 66% of those aged over 55 logging on to find new products.


Firms that fail to capitalise on potential sales and opportunities could be left in financial difficulty and could even face insolvency in the most severe situations.


Contacting insolvency practitioners is recommended in such instances as an array of options may be available to aid those concerned.


There is still plenty of time for small firms to address these issues however; a concerted effort should be made to ensure that sales campaigns tap in to the interests, preferences and behaviours of all age groups.


This might require a different approach for the various age groups, but firms that get it right should certainly stand to benefit it the years ahead.


By Phil Smith


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