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Women Step Up as Mobile Users, Customers

February 27th, 2013 ::

By Rieva Lesonsky

If you’re a woman small business owner, these figures probably won’t surprise you—but they could open your eyes to a marketing opportunity you’ve been missing out on. A study by VibrantNation of women aged 45-60 found that contrary to what many marketers may think, they are major buyers and users of technology. In 2012, VibrantNation reports, these women bought more new mobile and Web-enabled devices than ever before. In addition, they bought plenty of devices for the other members of their families.

Here’s some of what VibrantNation found about “younger Boomer” women:

  • 67% of them reported having purchased a new smartphone in the last 12 months.
  • 55% of them reported having bought a new iPad, tablet computer or e-reader in 2012.

VibrantNation divides 45-to-60 women into several overlapping market segments. While most women fall into more than one of these categories, all of them used their mobile devices to manage multiple roles and relationships in their lives.

  1. Active Empty-Nesters have plenty of disposable income. They like to spend money on tech toys, as well as on frequent travel. As a result, they love having the latest in mobile devices to stay connected on their trips.
  2. Multi-generational Caregivers use their devices to stay in touch with, schedule activities for, and keep track of up to four generations of their own families at all times.
  3. Midlife Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders live a life that requires them to be connected wherever they go (but I don’t have to tell you that, do I?).

The involvement of young Boomer women with their families is key to their mobile use. For example, women in the survey who had adult children were very involved in their adult children’s lives, to the extent of helping them choose or pay for technology devices. As younger adults struggle with reduced job opportunities and incomes, this trend is likely to continue. One-fourth of the respondents say they bought an adult child a smartphone or tablet computer in 2012.

Women who were involved in caring for multiple generations were also likely to invest in mobile devices for those family members. Some 8 percent of respondents reported buying a grandchild a tablet computer in 2012, and 8 percent had bought a desktop or laptop computer, tablet or smartphone for an aging parent.

Undoubtedly, as a woman entrepreneur, mobile devices from smartphones to laptops are an integral part of your daily life. So if your business’s target market includes women in the 45-to-60 age group, stop and think about how you like to interact with businesses, be marketed to, or research and buy products on your mobile devices. What do you like (and dislike) about way the brands you interact with approach mobile marketing or ecommerce? What kinds of information are you looking for that you can’t find? What would you like to do (buy, review, connect) on your mobile device that you can’t do?

Apply those lessons from your own life to the way you market to women Boomers, and you’ll be more likely to succeed at winning them over.

Image by Flickr user Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com (Creative Commons)

The views expressed here are the author's alone and not those of Network Solutions or its partners.

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