The significance of population aging to business owners
Indicators suggest that population aging is the new normal. Boomers (born 1946-1964) and other older generations have meaningful buying power. Ensuring businesses are conscious of the needs and wants of this large segment of the population is critical to remaining viable.
Things for business owners to consider:
- How to talk to and about older customers
- Design of built store environment
- Design of virtual store environment
Did you know that many boomers, even those older than 65, do not consider themselves senior citizens? The Circles of Aging Project completed by NDSU Extension provides important insight about the boomer consumer.
Are there features of businesses that would make it difficult for a customer to have an enjoyable experience? While aging increases our risk of developing a disability, built environment features can impact the experience of any person. For example, a person with a stroller will have a more positive experience with an automatic door button and ramp included in business design.
This is our website. Can a person with low vision or other physical challenges have a positive experience? For example, a person with Parkinson’s disease may have difficulty clicking links on a website because of hand tremors. Ensuring links have a margin for clicking errors increases the chance of a more positive experience.
Real World Examples
Many businesses are conscious of the demographic shift that is occurring all over the world and are taking steps to respond. Below you can learn more about their efforts:
- Video: How BMW deals with an aging workforce
- How BMW is Defusing the Demographic Time Bomb
- Tesco Reaps Benefit as Number of Over-50s Staff Reaches Record Level
Resources for Business Owners
- WebAIM: Web Accessibility In Mind
- Check Your Accessibility
- Making Your Website Senior Friendly: A checklist
- Universal Design in the Workplace
- Universal Design and Visitability: From accessibility to zoning
Marketing to Boomers
- Study: The 3 Most Effective Ways to Reach Baby Boomers
- Marketing to Millennials and Baby Boomers (Michigan State Extension)
Resources for Employers
- Addressing the Challenges of an Aging Workforce
- Employer Strategies for Responding to an Aging Workforce
- Workforce Shortages: Beyond the retirement crisis
Disclaimer: The preceding is presented for informational purposes only. SDSU Extension does not endorse the services, methods or products described herein, and makes no representations or warranties of any kind regarding them.