Want to Tap into the Lucrative Senior Market? Follow the Money.

Posted on Aug 3, 2018 · 5 min read

Seniors make 50% of all consumer purchases, but only 10% of marketing dollars are spent on them. What’s wrong with this picture?

As we noted in our previous post, Turning Silver into Gold: How to Reap the Rewards of Marketing to Seniors, there are nearly 109 million Americans over the age of 50, and they are a large and influential group of consumers:

In this post we’re going to dig a little deeper into this green field of opportunity to provide insight into where and how seniors are spending their money, so you can reallocate your marketing dollars to capture your share of this overlooked market.

Seniors Have Money and They’re Not Afraid to Part with It

Baby boomers control 75% of the nation’s wealth, and they’re spending it in both familiar and unexpected ways.

Homes

Once seniors retire, they have a lot more time to spend at home, and that translates into spending more on their dwellings. They’re ready to undertake repairs they’ve been putting off for years, and excited to turn kids’ rooms into spaces they can enjoy, like a home theater. And for those cold winter months, they’re motivated to buy second homes they can retreat to.

Seniors purchased 46% of vacation homes and spend $90 billion on home renovations in one year.

Appearance, Health and Dating

Late middle age and retirement are often times of great personal and professional transition, and today’s seniors are embracing the change. Nearly one-third of seniors become separated, divorced or widowed, and many rejoin the dating scene. Sixty-nine percent say they believe the best years of their life are still ahead of them.

These major life changes are driving seniors to spend more on their health, appearance and social connections.

Forty-three percent of seniors spend more than $300/year on beauty and personal care products, 50% work out for 30 minutes or more at least 3x/week, and 6.5 million use online dating services.

Eating Out

Seniors have time on their hands and are willing and able to dine during off-hours and days. Restaurants can leverage this flexibility by courting seniors during windows of time and days of the week that are typically low-traffic, such as early, weekday dinners.

Seniors spend nearly $2,500 year on food away from home, and 80% of seniors went to a sit-down restaurant in the past 30 days.

Entertainment

Boredom isn’t on the seniors’ agenda. Americans 75 and over spend nearly 8 hours a day in leisure and sports activities, and with more money and time than ever before, they just want to have fun!

Seniors spend $2,651 each year on entertainment. 32 million seniors attend a sporting event and 21.6 million attend live theater.

Travel

Whether it’s close to home or around the world, travel is a major pastime for seniors. Of all the vacation dollars spent in the US, almost half come from seniors.

Each year, seniors spend $120 billion on luxury travel and $11,077 on 5 vacations. They also account for 57% of credit spending at hotels.

Grandchildren

And of all the ways to spend their time and money, seniors LOVE to spend it on their grandchildren. The US has 70 million grandparents and 25% of them spend more than $1,000 annually on grandchildren.

So how can brands and retailers take advantage of this opportunity?

With Gated Senior Offers

According to AARP, one-third of all online purchases are made by people over 50, and seniors spend nearly $7 billion online each year. Targeted offers that honor seniors are a great way to tap into this potential; they can generate new sales and engender the kind of loyalty that drives repeat purchases.

But for these programs to be effective, the offers need to be gated. Otherwise, they’re not really exclusive.

Gated Offers Work on Many Levels

  • They make seniors feel good. According to our consumer survey, more than 3 in 5 said gated offers made them feel rewarded.
  • They stimulate purchasing behavior. Nearly half of seniors said a gated offer would make them purchase sooner, and 54% said it would increase their likelihood to purchase.
  • They are welcomed. Sixty-six percent of seniors said they like to learn about new products directly from the brand, via email, social media, online ads, and other channels.

Securing Your Gated Offers with SheerID Makes them More Effective

Gated offers need a strong gate to ensure they are truly exclusive. If anyone can access your offers, seniors will find them less appealing and your margins will shrink.

That’s because seniors care about the integrity of the companies they buy from. Eighty-five percent said they would lose trust in a brand if they knew it allowed ineligible shoppers to redeem a gated offer. And without adequately secured gated offers, discount abuse can be as high as 35%, according to our customer audits.

SheerID’s Digital Verification Platform ensures that only eligible shoppers receive your discount. Seniors enter a few pieces data during checkout and are instantly verified. The process is frictionless and completely in-brand.

A senior gentleman hiking the mountains.

SheerID’s age verification covers the entire US population over 50 and has an adjustable age range for maximum flexibility. There’s no better way to acquire new customers and keep them coming back for more.

Ready to Tap into the Wealth of the Senior Segment?

Learn how SheerID’s age verification can help you deliver compelling offers with ROAS as high as 20:1.

Tony Coray by Tony Coray