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Baby Boomers Holiday Shopping

17 November 2008 28 Comments

Almost 30% of active Internet users are baby boomers – that’s 55.6 million people 55 and older. These are the people with discretionary income who shopping for second homes, cruises, new cars, and other goodies most families with kids at home can’t afford.

Now let’s look at the holiday shopping season. eMarketer estimates a 10% increase in online holiday sales – $32 billion. Shoppers will be purchasing from the Internet to save gas money and to take advantage of free shipping offers.


Lots of Spending Money

If you’re selling products online, remember those baby boomers have lots of spending money:

The boomers’ collective wallet will only get fatter as they continue working. As a group, people age 50 to 60 are flush, with more than $1 trillion of spending power a year, about double the spending power of today’s 60-to-70-year-olds. They’re likely to be vigorous consumers as they empty the nest, take on new jobs, relocate, support children they had in their 40s, go back to school, start a second or third career, remarry, inherit money from their savings-minded parents, pursue new hobbies, and tackle the health issues of aging. “Marketers are slowly waking up,” says Matt Thornhill, president of the Boomer Project, a Richmond (Va.) consulting firm. “If you’re going to expand your business, you will have to market to the aging boomer.” – Businessweek.com

If you’re focus is on the younger demographics at the exclusion of baby boomers, you are missing a potentially huge opportunity to tap into a large, diverse, and fast-growing segment of the U.S. Internet population this holiday season.

Make Your Site Search Engine and Shopper Friendly

search engine friendly candy caneYou don’t have much time left, but you can still make the small tweaks that will make your site better optimized for search engines as well as user friendly to older visitors:


  • Use dark type on a light background and avoid patterns
  • Use a font size larger than 10 point in Arial or Tahoma


  • Make sure your pages load quickly
  • Use the same style throughout the site
  • Make site navigation consistent and easy to understand
  • Provide “Previous/Next” buttons
  • Keep your pages clean and uncluttered


  • Use bold type to highlight key terms
  • Underline your links; make visited links a different color
  • Attention-grabbing features on a page should be links
  • Left justify body text (other than headings)
  • Don’t make visitors scroll down or use pull down menus

Check your titles and meta descriptions too. You’ll have a lot of competition in search, and you want the title to be as well optimized as possible, with a description that will encourage people to visit your site. Include a call to action in it if you can.

  • Pingback: Baby Boomers Holiday Shopping Spree | Aging and Baby Boomers News

  • http://www.directsaleswebmarketing.com Dennis Edell

    I’ve also read that the elderly are taking to online shopping so as not to have to leave he house so often…another HUGE and LARGELY untapped market!

    Dennis Edells last blog post..A Monkey Can Do Your Job!

  • http://psychicgeek.com witchypoo

    I’m not sure I understand what you mean by “include a call to action in it”.

    witchypoos last blog post..Recycled Toilet Story

  • http://virtualimpax.com Kathy – Virtual Impax

    So many web developers tend to target the 20 somethings when the boomers have the bucks! Nice data points here – and food for thought for anyone who is wondering where the future is for online!

    Kathy – Virtual Impaxs last blog post..Steps to Starting a Small Business: #6 Setting Your Rates

  • busbyseotest!

    don’t we still need to build backlinks too?

    busbyseotest!s last blog post..The Easiest Way To Build Page Rank

  • http://www.webtlk.com Web Talk

    This news make me think that despite the time of economic crisis we are living, people are still buying happily despite they dont have money. I would be curious to know if they pay cash or use some kind of loan! I even know somebody who makes loan to go on vacation

    Web Talks last blog post..How to disable pop-up blocking notification in Google Chrome

  • http://verzi.com verzi

    Nice post! I write about personal finance and will probably use a link to this age cause the charts are great.

    There is really a great potential in elderly but they need to get used to web a little bit more.

  • http://hostgb.ru viteker

    interesting statistics:-)

  • http://www.directsaleswebmarketing.com Dennis Edell

    Witchy – your “call to action” is the most important step. It’s where you “tell” the person exactly what you ant them to do at the end of you article/pitch/whatever…

    Subscribe/Purchase, or whatever your trying to get them to do in the first place.

    There are no mind readers, if you want your prospect to do a certain thing, never be afraid to provide a step by step…make it as simple as possible. :)

    Dennis Edells last blog post..A Monkey Can Do Your Job!

  • http://www.seefeld.com/de/orte/reith.php Reith Zimmer buchen

    even though we are suffering from economic crisis, its not a bad idea to give something to ourselves, lets not be affected by the things that were happing around us, let enjoy this coming christmas.

  • http://orange.pinkygirl.org Busby SEO Test

    I agree. The will be more shopper will start to buy especially for Christmas gift and also new year festival. Very good breakdown on the internet user info!!.

    Busby SEO Tests last blog post..New and Latest Busby SEO Design

  • http://www.ankinlaw.com/blog Jamie

    I do agree that “baby boomers” have the money, but that doesn’t mean businesses should be targeting them. They have old money, but the 25-34 have the newer minds and they know what the newest trend is. Older folks use the internet, but the younger folks know where and what to buy.

  • http://www.rush.edu Chicago Hospitals

    I’ve never taken accessibility that seriously, but seeing these numbers makes me think. Perhaps it’s time to design for more than cynical hipster 20-somethings?

  • http://www.tropicalsky.co.uk/caribbean-holidays.htm Caribbean Holidays

    Some good tips there to help optimise your site a little bit more.
    I’m trying to get my own site further up in the Google listing, I’ll have to take some of your advice and see if it works, thanks :)

  • http://thesky.asia/busby-seo-test/ Sky SEO

    I’m starting to do affiliate now. Thanks for this great article. This makes me have a plan :)

    Sky SEOs last blog post..Google Myth at Webpronews

  • http://www.marketingminefield.co.uk Marketing Ideas

    Those are definitely some interesting statistics.

    To make your site more friendly to online shoppers I’d also recommend adding web analytics to it (e.g. Google Analytics). That way you can assess each web page and even set up a ‘shopping cart funnel’ to see where people are dropping out. It’s a good way to cut down on leakage and increase your conversion rate.

  • http://www.hypnobusters.com HypnoBusters

    Those numbers suprise me a lot. I always thought I (at the age of 21) was part of the internet generation…it would appear not though!

  • http://www.mqwap.com/ raina

    I’m thankful after watching this informative blog. This post compelled me to think about the regardless of the time of monetary disaster at present. I’m interested to know how people are purchasing happily although they have not enough money.

  • http://www.seodiva.net Seo Diva

    @Commenters 1-21 – I commented on your comments :) in the next blog post.

    @Cellulartraders – I hope it’s helpful to many of you.

    @Mike – You’re welcome.

    @raina – I don’t think people are out of money, for the most part. Yes, large companies have had big layoffs, but most people are hanging on to their jobs. They are being more cautious about spending, though.

  • http://www.oilpaintingsmarket.com/tag_Caravaggio_0.html Caravaggio

    very interesting tips. from 2003 to 2008 grown a lot. that’s good .

  • http://webjunk.ru WebJunk

    very interesting statistics. By the way, I like your template!

    WebJunks last blog post..Немного про “МаркетГид”.

  • http://www.go-audi.com/audi-a4-forum/ Glenn

    This is news to me. One resource added to my list here.

    Good specific hints for quick optimization. The time is getting closer.

  • http://cacciolairon.com/ Iron Works NJ

    Interesting statistics, thank you. I also thought, that the things are quite different. But now, you “opened my eyes” :) Useful information for me.

  • http://ballroomdancequest.com ebeneara1

    Good statistics on shopping..Today people are going crazy towards online shopping even they are costing more as per their convenience..

    ebeneara1s last blog post..Learning The Ballroom Dance

  • http://www.marblehost.com Marble Host


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  • http://phoneservice.tblog.com/post/1969909376 Long distance

    I am suprised the 20 to 30 group is not the largest one. I know the baby boomers have more money but did not know they use the internet more. Thanks this is a good post.

    Long distances last blog post..georgia local phone service provider

  • http://www.cruise-vacation-online.com salihu

    Any business concern that ignores the baby boomers generation does so at it’s own peril. The key to succeed in marketing to this generation is knowing about them. They are independent, highly mobile etc.

  • http://www.vrbo.com/vacation-rentals/usa/hawaii/oa Makaha resort

    great post, the baby boomers are definitely a target demographic.