Some small companies may think they do not need to maintain an Internet presence because they serve an older client base, but the disconnect between older consumers and technology use is narrowing, according to research from Varsity, a marketing communications firm. This may be a sign it is time for product manufacturers and electronics retailers to start utilizing Internet marketing methods.

The researchers studied adults between 65 and 90 in focus groups, on shopping trips and in retirement homes and found that many older consumers are using technology to make purchasing decisions. Previously, online shopping was seen as an action of younger people, but companies may need to readjust their strategies to reach this demographic.

The study found Internet browsing is becoming a leisurely activity for seniors. Older consumers are using the Web for shopping and researching product information, and many are influenced by mobile advertisements. Tablets are growing more popular for seniors, even replacing newspapers and magazines as a source of reading material.

How small businesses can use the Internet to target senior consumers

Older consumers are an important target market for many brands because many retirees have higher expendable incomes, CIO Today said. While seniors still spend time watching television, these ads have less impact on purchasing decisions than they used to.

Seniors are becoming increasingly tech-savvy, and 43 percent of adults over 65 have a social media profile, according to a Pew Internet study. Social media use has increased significantly in the past several years. In 2005, only 8 percent of all adults had a social media presence.

Facebook is the most popular social network among seniors because it does not require constant interaction from the user, CIO Today said. With the declining effectiveness of television advertisements and increasing Internet use from older consumers, there are many opportunities for small businesses to attract new customers in this target audience.

Internet and social media ads can be easier for small businesses to use with the help of a marketing services. Social media can create more business exposure and functions like word-of-mouth advertising. For small companies that want to reach a wider audience and target older consumers, Internet marketing can prove to be beneficial. Consumer preferences are changing, and even seniors are using the Internet to make purchasing decisions and shop.

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