When it comes to new technologies, baby boomers are not known as the age group that adopts them the earliest. According to eMarketer, this is especially true when it comes to technology that offers real-life utility. For instance, while smart-home devices and voice assistants have their advantages, baby boomers may be less inclined to have those technologies appeal to them due to privacy concerns.
Voice technology, in theory, should have appealed to baby boomers because of the ease at which they can receive and ask for information. However, baby boomers are nonetheless lagging behind in terms of voice assistant applications.
In fact, eMarketer predicts that 38.6% of baby boomers who use smartphones will use its voice assistant in 2020. Meanwhile, when it comes to their counterparts, 49% of Gen X individuals will use voice technology, while millennials will reach 53.1%.
In terms of smart-home technology, which pertains to internet-connected thermostats, smart appliances, and monitoring devices, baby boomers are less inclined to adopt them, too. In a survey conducted by AARP in September 2019, it was found that when it comes to the popularity of such devices, it was the lowest for baby boomers between the ages 50 to 59. For those between 60 to 68, they were at 10%. For those 70 and older, it was at a mere 7%.
Smart speaker users also help paint a similar picture when it comes to the older generation and its lag in adapting to new technology. According to eMarketer, this is in tandem with significant concerns about digital privacy. By the end of 2020, eMarketer predicts that only 17.6% of this cohort will own smark speakers altogether.
In the context of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it was found that telehealth adoption rose across age groups. However, it should also be noted that while baby boomers experienced an increase in technology usage, such an increase was in the context of a low pre-pandemic base.
A poll by Gallup conducted in November 2019 found that only 7% of U.S. adults who were 55 and older used mobile applications to keep track of their health conditions.
YouGov also conducted a poll in November 2019 and found that 7% of baby boomers reported on using telemedicine technology in order to get in-touch with a doctor.
Despite the small percentage increase of technology users among the cohort, there may be still hope in terms of sticking to the services used amid COVID-19 if they proved to be effective.
According to a CivicScience poll that was published in May 2020, it was found that 28% of U.S. adults who were 55 and older tried telemedicine, which was an increase in usage compared to the 13% in March 2020. In April 2020, it was also reported that 73% of the age group who tried the technology said they found the experience satisfying. Although baby boomers may not be the first cohort to adapt to new technology, they are nonetheless interested in it if it offers them value.
As companies continue to monitor the state of different target audiences affected by COVID-19 pandemic, it is important for businesses to stay up-to-date with the latest findings and statistics. Find Your Audience is here to provide clients with advice and strategies on how to respond to such changes and make the most of the latest information.
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