Step Aside, Kids
Grandma's moving on to the Web
Techies from the generation branded "X," with their affinity
for writing computer programs to do all their work, may have ushered in
the Internet boom, but their parents and grandparents have embraced it with
The Wall Street Journal recently reported 36% of Americans between
ages 50 and 64 owned a PC last year (up from 27% in 1996); customers over
age 55 made up 14% of all PC sales by Packard Bell NEC Inc. in 1997. For
jewelers looking for new ways to reach the retired set (especially those
with empty nests and bulging wallets), the statistics suggest interesting
marketing possibilities. Some WSJ findings:
- The number of minutes per month people over age 50 spend using PCs
is 47% higher than the average for all age groups.
- WebTV, the new service bringing the World Wide Web to homes without
computers, is marketing strongly to seniors with a TV spot featuring an
elderly woman's proud e-mail: "And, son, I plugged it in myself."
- Web sites such as Third Age (www.thirdage.com) and Senior-Com (www.senior.com)
appeal to retirees with articles on health, hobbies, financial news and
technical concerns, chat rooms and message boards.
- Seniors use the Internet to stay in touch with family by e-mail, build
an on-line community and fight loneliness and boredom.
Reach Those Surfing Seniors
Advertise in senior center newsletters,
small community newspapers and local travel guides to reach retirees. Include
your Web site URL and e-mail address in the ads.
Send e-mail newsletters to keep in
touch with customers who can't physically come to the store often. Inform
them of upcoming sales, promotions and products that might interest them.
Host on-line chat sessions, bulletin
boards or newsgroups about jewelry and gemstones.
Sponsor local Internet user groups
at your community center.
Publish an on-line or CD-ROM catalog
that shut-ins or less mobile customers can use to shop from home.
Investigate advertising possibilities
on senior-focused Web sites.Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.