The over-60 age group is a rapidly growing demographic, thanks to the baby boomers. Many people in this group have paid off their mortgages, have paid for their children’s college education, are empty nesters, and have substantial savings and investments, which means they have money to spend. But remember, they are smarter shoppers and expect good value for their money. Don’t ever try to deceive them—word will travel fast.
Can your business offer products and services to this “cash available” crowd? People are healthier and more active now than they were years ago, so the over-60 group can still do things, such as play sports and travel, that previous generations may have given up on at a younger age. Many are retired and have time available when others are working, so use your slow times to sell to them. Make your store senior friendly. Here are just a few ideas you can consider:
- Offer free shopping services or concierge.
- Have an Internet site that is easy to use.
- Don’t treat people like senior citizens—just treat them as special customers.
- Offer publications for their age group.
- Offer free home pickup and delivery for services such as cleaning or groceries.
- Feature afternoon/early evening dances and entertainment.
- Share the cost with other businesses and offer a van pickup service for trips to shopping centers and strip malls. Show videos in the van about products and services at the stores or about what’s on sale.
- Hire seniors to take other seniors’ phone orders during certain hours.
- Manufacture special car accessories for seniors.
- Feature special early-dinner or late-lunch prices and menus.
- Start a friendship-matching service for singles.
- Offer group trips for people with similar interests.
- Offer lower-priced taxi, limo, and bus services for seniors for less busy times.
- Start a local senior activities newsletter sponsored by your store.
- Produce or market health food that is low in cholesterol, fat, sodium, and so on.
- Offer non-high-tech luxury items.
- Feature a special afternoon section in a movie theater that is away from kids and teens.
- Give gift certificates/cards to senior associations and retirement homes.
- Send a van to pick up customers at a retirement home once a week during slow times.
- Offer part-time jobs to seniors and give them a store discount.
- Give a senior citizen discount.
Doing some of these things will surely increase your business from seniors. They’re going to spend their money somewhere, so why not at your store? They’re also great about referring other seniors if they like your products or services. We’re all going to be seniors someday; think about what would entice and interest you.