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Boomers and Seniors Favor the Web

More activities conducted on smartphones and tablets

July 11, 2013

The internet has become a way of life for baby boomers and seniors in the US, according to a March 2013 study conducted by Ipsos and Google. For the purposes of their poll, the companies defined baby boomers as those ages 45 to 65 and seniors as those ages 65 or older. The study found that boomers spent more time on the web than with any other media channel, including TV. And for seniors, time spent watching TV exceeded time spent online by just 30 minutes.

Weekly Time Spent with Media by US Baby Boomer & Senior Internet Users, March 2013 (hours)

Boomers and seniors lean heavily on the internet to gain access to information. While two-thirds used the web to get details on the news and weather, 57% of respondents said they headed online to get information related to shopping, and 45% were in search of coupons, daily deals or other discounts.

While smartphone and tablet use among seniors and boomers trails that of the general population in the US, those who are on smart devices are also using them for a range of activities. For many of these users, a search on a smart device serves as an early step in the path to purchase. Forty-nine percent of boomer and senior tablet user respondents made a purchase after conducting a search, and 40% reported doing the same after searching on a smartphone.

Actions Taken by US Baby Boomer & Senior Smartphone/Tablet Users After Gathering Information via Their Device, March 2013 (% of respondents)

eMarketer projects that the percentage of US boomers on the mobile web will surpass 50% this year, hitting 28.8 million.

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