Posted in on December 11, 2009

More Seniors Online – New Data on What They’re Doing

Thanks to a tweet this a.m. from Bill Vick, we can share some updated statistics on what 65+ seniors do online.  New data from Nielsen Online shows that email is still the number one activity of these older Americans.  The next two activities – getting maps and weather – suggest gift-givers might safely consider buying their grandparents a GPS or digital weather station for the 2009 holidays. 


We note the #4 activity – online bill-paying – with interest.  For many years, the stereotype of Silent Generation members and other older Americans has been that they’re overly cautious, even suspicious of anything that requires them to sign-up or share personal information online. 

Nielsen’s data reinforces what Creating Results has been telling clients:  seniors will register if you prove the relevance of your service/offer to their lives, your tool can make their busy lives easier, and you show that you’re worthy of their trust.

Nielsen Online also looked at the most popular online destinations for those over 65.

The No. 1 online destination for people over 65 in November 2009 was Google Search, with 10.3 million unique visitors. Windows Media Player and Facebook were No. 2 and No. 3, with 8.2 million and 7.9 million visitors, respectively. Interestingly, Facebook, which came in at No. 3, ranked No. 45 just a year ago among sites visited by senior citizens.

As we noted in September, Facebook presents many opportunities for motivating older consumers.  It’s the only social networking site to make Nielsen’s top 10 destinations list. 

Search-related sites dominate the list of where savvy seniors surf (Google, Google Maps, Yahoo and Bing).   Also two video-related destinations (YouTube, Windows Media Player) made the “most popular” list. Online video has been growing in popularity among Baby Boomers and seniors for some time.

Nielsen’s headline says it clearly:  “Sx Million More Seniors Using the Web than Five Years Ago.”  How will your 2010 marketing plan strategically and effectively engage those seniors online?

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