By the end of the year, over 25% of the global population will be over fifty.  In the UK alone, fifty-somethings will represent over 35% of the population. Whilst some marketers are concentrating their efforts and budgets on the Millennial Generation – the largest sector with the most dispensable income are in fact the over fifties! This represents an extremely lucrative opportunity for retailers, especially across e-commerce,  providing they get their messaging and presentation right!

To connect and engage with this particular demographic needs careful consideration in the targeting process and the need to recognise that this age group includes both active elements, as well as those who are looking to slow down into their seventies and beyond. It is a multi-faceted audience with different requirements and motivations and few brands are considering this potential audience. Those that are might not doing it so well and falling into the stereotype trap. Some that are breaking down the these stereotypes successfully are brands such as MAC, Jimmy Choo, Lanvin and Delvaux who have all featured campaigns with 70+ models. Bigger brands with a larger product range need to think how they can become increasingly relevant across age bands.

As many people entering their 50’s are still active in the workplace and plan to be so for years to come, the idea of being ‘old’ happens much later than it used to. In fact, only 8% of people in the UK regard people of 50-60 as being old, while only 5% of those over 65 feel their age.* Over 80% of 55-64 year olds have internet access across the UK with a current collective spending power of over £14 billion, and by 2025 they are expected to make up two-thirds of all retail activity.** They are an e-commerce retailers’ dream demographic! Andreas Pouros, COO and co-founder of Greenlight digital marketing agency said:

“Here lies an audience with more disposable cash, which is totally suited to ecommerce; eager to compare products and prices, shop flexibly and have products delivered to their door.”

So what does the on-line retailer need to consider when it comes to packaging in this particular age group? Research shows that shoppers in this demographic are often more exacting and demanding in their expectations. Purchasing choices are more likely to reflect sustainable values. The focus should be on quality and customer experience. Investment in high quality packaging is worthwhile and brands should consider a luxury approach, derived from sustainable sources and 100% recyclable.

Again, not to stereotype but with many over 40’s needing to reach for their reading glasses, packaging needs to be accessible with appropriately sized branding and copy. Dexterity issues may also cause problems actually opening the packaging – this all needs to be considered when wishing to deliver that amazing customer experience. Poorly designed packaging won’t be tolerated and brands could end up on a You Tube video starring in an un-boxing video for all the wrong reasons!

Want to find out more about how the right packaging can help your brand resonate with your target audience? Why not talk to the friendly team at Acopia, with over 40 years of experience – we will have the right solution for you and your brand.


*Statistics from Campaign – Kantar company, TNS Omnibus, interviewed 1187 GB adults between 27/06/2013 – 01/07/2013. All interviews were conducted as online self-completion. The data is weighted to match population totals for age, sex, social grade, working status, presence of children, 2010 voting patterns and region. Read more at http://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/unstoppables-brands-engage-over-50s/1194290#5YFIytVjDZuMxe1j.99

** Statistics from Greenlight Digital Marketing Agency