BUSINESS Online With Baby Boomers By Gwendolyn Plummer Sunday, January 29, 2023 12:55 AM RELATED CONTENT Eyewear Consumers Meet Generation Alpha Gen Z Grows Up The Millennial Market Gen X, Loyal But Anxious Connecting With the Silent Generation Long one of the most influential and powerful generations in our culture and economy, Baby Boomers are those born between about 1946 and 1964. They still maintain a massive impact on consumer power, writes The Shelf, “Not only do Boomers have control of their own $7 billion of annual online spending, but they are also critical influencers in the lives of their adult children, young adult grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren.” They, like Gen Xers, are often part of multi-generational households, and are investing in younger generations, too, as they help their children and grandchildren get through college, buy their first homes and more. Still, Baby Boomers are beginning to retire, and GOBankingRates reported that just 28 percent “believe they are in for financial growth in the new year.” Many Baby Boomers are beginning to adjust to living on a more fixed income as they retire, while some are pushing back their retirement years due to inflation. It makes sense to look at traditional routes of connection when trying to reach Baby Boomers, but leaving them out of the technology talk would be a mistake, too. Forbes writes, “Baby Boomers have grown up with technology over recent decades. They’re more accustomed to technology than you might think, and they use it in different ways than Millennials.” According to Forbes’ report, 96 percent use search engines, 95 percent use email and 92 percent shop online rather than in person. Around 60 percent of Baby Boomers read blogs and online articles for information, and about 70 percent watch videos about products and services that they’re interested in. Baby Boomers are active on Facebook mainly, which they use to shop and connect with loved ones. Yahoo! Finance reported on research from Rain the Growth Agency that shows that online shopping is even growing with Baby Boomers. General use of search engines remains the “shopping gateway” for Baby Boomers, but 26 percent say “social media has inspired purchases from never before considered brands and products,” making space for everyone to connect with the Baby Boomer generation. Baby Boomers are also quite health conscious, especially as they age in a time of constantly improving medical technology that allows for longer, happier lives. Many Baby Boomers are active and healthy—but there’s no question that aging eyes pose a serious health concern for many older people. Almost all will have to see an ECP at some point in the next year, and maintaining consistent, authentic contact with Baby Boomer patients is a vital cornerstone of eyecare. Because they are often part of multi-generational homes, or are involved in the lives of their children and grandchildren, establishing connections with Baby Boomers can also lead to authentic connections with their younger family members. In many cases, the necessity of eyecare is a nonnegotiable for the Baby Boomer generation—but that does not mean our industry can or should take our connection with them for granted. Continuing to be authentic, proactive and being flexible benefits both Baby Boomers and the industry at large.