top of page

Boomers are doing more scrolling and shopping

Why they offer brands a bang for their buck

In 2016, brands were told to “forget millennials” and focus on Gen Z. Four years later, they were advised to “forget millennials and Gen Z” to make room for the next bunch.

In the race to stay relevant, businesses scramble to appeal to younger generations, often neglecting older consumers along the way.

Here's why they shouldn't. Not only are baby boomers spending more time on social media and regularly buying online, but they got some serious money.

What's the story?
The trend

Older consumers are using a wider range of social media apps and ecommerce sites.

The data

There’s been a 57% rise in baby boomers using TikTok since Q2 2021, and they’re more likely to have bought a product or service online in the last week than Gen Z

Boomers represent a lucrative and increasingly accessible market, as well as an untapped opportunity for many brands

The takeaway
From friends to Influencers

While Facebook is still their long-standing favorite, the number of baby boomers who regularly use Instagram and TikTok is climbing. Their growing engagement with video-based apps is ultimately refining their approach to social media, which is becoming more about entertainment and brand engagement. 

Ranked order of social media apps used by baby boomers outside China monthly, and those that have seen the biggest increase in monthly usage since Q2 2021.

TikTok makes gains among baby boomers

Source: GWI Core 02 2021 & Q2 2023 • Base: 13,208 (02 2021) & 14,387 (Q2 2023) baby boomers outside China, born between 1958-1963

What's happening and why?

As their social media footprint expands, boomers are becoming more enthusiastic about commercial content. In the US, the number who say following influencers is a top reason for using social platforms has grown 22% since Q2 2021.

Older influencers have been capturing attention on various apps too, using them to defy ageist stereotypes and even inspire young adults. Lifestyle influencers like Barbara CostelloLynn Davis, and Gym Tan are just a few standout names with millions of followers between them.

The number of baby boomers who use TikTok has grown 57% since 2021

The way boomers use social media is changing, so brands’ approach needs to change too. An example of a company adapting well is Trinny London, whose social-first strategy aimed at older women has yielded an online community of 90,000+ people on apps like Instagram, and contributed to its £50 million turnover

43% of boomers who save think their current funds would cover their basic living expenses for 6 months+, compared to 18% of Gen Z

Who’s more likely to shop online: Gen Z or baby boomers? The answer may surprise you. Globally, boomers are more likely to say they buy new products online each week, own a credit card, and have high purchasing power but they don't feel represented in advertising they see.

Show me the money
What's happening and why?

Despite all this, advertising (as it stands) doesn’t resonate well with them. Baby boomers are the generation least likely to feel represented in ads and to report buying brands they’ve seen advertised, which makes sense.

According to research by CreativeX, the majority of older groups featured in ads appear in family or domestic settings, with less than 1% being shown in professional environments.

This means advertisers aren’t reaching the 24% of employed boomers who describe themselves as career-focused, the 35% of grocery-shopping boomers who say they like to explore the world, or the 31% of clothes-buying boomers who are interested in live events.

On the whole, the more represented consumers feel, the more responsive they are to marketing. So there are obvious benefits to businesses tweaking their approach and working to represent older generations more authentically.

Coming up next
AI is hot!!!
But kinda concerning
Agencia de Marketing Digital México
Branding Corporativo México

In our fast-paced digital age, we're all about quick and cutting-edge solutions. If you want a partner who keeps up with the speed of the digital world, choose typ.

Patience is not a f*@king virtue.

bottom of page