Myth: Zoomers are being left behind by technology – ZoomerU

Myth: Zoomers are being left behind by technology

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With today’s dizzying rate of technological advance, it’s easy to let yourself believe that the “older” market aren’t keeping up.

Nothing could be further from the truth, and we can prove it.

Start by recognizing that three different age cohorts are represented in the Zoomer (45-plus) population:

  • The oldest slice of Generation X (age 45-52)
  • All Baby Boomers (age 53-73)
  • The rest of the population over age 73

Of these three groups, both Gen X and Boomers are totally comfortable with the new technologies. The Boomers were never technophobes; at every stage of their lives, they were grabbing all the new technology they could get their hands on. Gen X, as well, grew up in a world of fast-changing technology and have always been quick to adopt the latest. There may be a slightly slower rate of adoption among the very oldest age groups, but taken in total, the Zoomers represent the biggest users of technology and purchasers of new tech products.

This reality is quickly demonstrated, using Vividata Fall 2018 as our source.

Some highlights:

  • 15.4 million Zoomers accessed the Internet yesterday, or 95.6% of all Zoomers. This compares to 9.2 million Millennials, or 94.6% of that age group.
  • 9.1 million Zoomers spend from 2 hours a day or more on the Internet, compared to 7.1 million Millennials.
  • 10.9 million Zoomers made an online purchase in the past 12 months, compared to 7.1 million Millennials.

This is reflected in their attitudes as well as their purchasing.

  • 46.5% of Millennials, or 4.5 million people, agree with the statement, “I feel I need to check social networking sites every day.” You’d expect the percentage would be lower for Zoomers, and it is. But not as low as you might guess: 31.4% agree with the statement, or 5.1 million people.
  • 41.4% of Millennials, or 4.0 million people, agree with the statement, “I couldn’t live without my mobile phone/smart phone.” Again, the percentage drops off for Zoomers, but it’s still a surprisingly high 31.6%, or 5.1 million people – a million more than the Millennials. That’s a huge market of Zoomers reliant on their smart phones.
  • Zoomers are active seekers of online information that will help them make purchasing decisions. While 60.1% of Millennials, or 5.8 million people, agree with the statement, “I often refer to the Internet before making new purchases” – no surprise there – the Zoomer percentage is 52.6%, or 8.5 million people — 3 million more than Millennials. Are marketers taking this online information-seeking into account?

The idea that Zoomers are not keeping with technology is a complete myth. They see and understand what’s happening, they’re quick to purchase the needed hardware and they’re very aware of how to use the technology to their advantage. Marketers who don’t “get” this – and especially, those who are patronizing toward Zoomers (a common complaint from Zoomers themselves) – are forfeiting an enormous audience, and misusing a potent sales-generating channel.

Today's Factoid

3,449,000

That's how many Zoomers worked out at a fitness club over the past year. You'd expect the younger Millennials to contribute more. You'd be wrong. They're almost a million behind -- only 2,486,000 people.   Source: Vividata Fall 2018