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Technology and the Over-55s - UK - July 2011

“Compared to the younger generation, the over-55s are more likely to use technology as a functional tool rather than a source of recreation. This bias may have put older consumers off buying new technology products that, despite being primarily associated with entertainment, can also contribute practical benefits to their everyday lives, from smartphones and apps that can save them money on the high street to video games that encourage regular exercise. Education will be the key to getting more over-55s to adopt these gadgets.”

– Cecilia Liao, Senior Technology Analyst

In this report we answer the key questions:

What is the most sought-after technology among over-55s?

How can advertisers more effectively market technology products to the over-55s?

What do over-55s want from technology products?

How can technology improve the wellbeing of the over 55s?

Definition:

In this report focused on technology usage among the over-55s, the term “older consumers” has been used to describe the over-55s, as opposed to “younger consumers” which refers to the under-55s.

Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen’s Printer for Scotland.

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definition
        • Abbreviations
        • Executive Summary

            • The market
              • Figure 1: Devices owned vs. interest in buying in next 12 months by the over-55s, March 2011
            • Home entertainment
              • Games consoles
                • Computers
                  • Other portable devices
                    • Market factors
                      • Figure 2: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2006-16
                    • More consumers over the age of 55
                      • Impact of price
                        • Companies, brands and innovation
                          • Peer-to-peer marketing
                            • Senior-centric technology products
                              • The consumer
                                • Figure 3: Attitudes towards technology products – over-55s, March 2011
                              • What we think
                              • Issues in the Market

                                  • What is the most sought-after technology among over-55s?
                                    • How can advertisers more effectively market technology products to the over-55s?
                                      • What do over-55s want from technology products?
                                        • How can technology improve the wellbeing of the over 55s?
                                        • Future Opportunities

                                            • Trend: Survival Skills
                                              • Trend: Hyper Parenting
                                              • Internal Market Environment

                                                • Key points
                                                  • Device ownership trends
                                                    • Home entertainment systems
                                                      • Figure 4: Electronic devices have at home – home entertainment systems, April 2009-April 2011
                                                    • Gaming consoles
                                                      • Figure 5: Electronic devices have at home – gaming consoles, July 2009-April 2011
                                                    • Other portable devices
                                                      • Figure 6: Electronic devices have at home – other portable devices, April 2009-April 2011
                                                    • Age structure of the population
                                                      • Figure 7: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2006-16
                                                  • Broader Market Environment

                                                    • Key points
                                                      • Fragile economic recovery
                                                        • Figure 8: GDP quarterly percentage change, Q1 2004-Q1 2011
                                                      • Interest rates to remain low despite inflation
                                                        • Low consumer confidence to continue
                                                          • Figure 9: GFK NOP Consumer Confidence Index, January 1988-May 2011
                                                        • A different story for inflation in technology
                                                          • Figure 10: CPI for all items; equipment for sound and picture; photographic, cinematographic and optical equipment; and information processing equipment, May 2005-May 2011
                                                      • Who’s Innovating?

                                                        • Key points
                                                          • Ads that older consumers can relate to
                                                            • Technology products specifically for seniors
                                                              • One page of buttons to simplify web browsing
                                                              • Home Entertainment

                                                                • Key points
                                                                  • What do the over-55s have?
                                                                    • Figure 11: Ownership of home entertainment devices, March 2011
                                                                  • Televisions
                                                                    • DVD and Blu-ray players
                                                                      • Audio equipment
                                                                        • Which over-55s are the most likely owners?
                                                                          • Televisions
                                                                            • Figure 12: Ownership of HDTVs, by socio-economic group, household income and household size, March 2011
                                                                          • DVD and Blu-ray players
                                                                            • Figure 13: Ownership of DVD players, by gender, age, household income and internet usage, March 2011
                                                                          • Audio equipment
                                                                            • What do the over-55s want?
                                                                              • Televisions
                                                                                • Figure 14: Proportion of consumers who express an interest in buying or upgrading to HDTV or 3DTV in the next 12 months, March 2011
                                                                                • Figure 15: Most important factors when purchasing an HDTV, March 2011
                                                                              • DVD and Blu-ray players
                                                                                • Figure 16: Proportion of consumers who express an interest in buying or upgrading to a DVD player or Blu-ray player in the next 12 months, March 2011
                                                                                • Figure 17: Most important factors when purchasing a Blu-ray player, March 2011
                                                                              • Audio equipment
                                                                                • Figure 18: Proportion of consumers who express an interest in buying or upgrading to DAB radio or Hi-fi music system in the next 12 months, March 2011
                                                                                • Figure 19: Most important factors when purchasing a DAB radio, March 2011
                                                                            • Games Consoles

                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                • Figure 20: Ownership of games consoles, March 2011
                                                                              • What do the over-55s have?
                                                                                • Figure 21: Ownership of games consoles, by brand, by age, April 2011
                                                                              • Which over-55s are the most likely owners?
                                                                                • Figure 22: Ownership of static games console, by gender, working status and household size, March 2011
                                                                              • What do the over-55s want?
                                                                                • Figure 23: Proportion of consumers who express an interest in buying or upgrading to a static games console or portable gaming device in the next 12 months, March 2011
                                                                              • Health and gaming
                                                                                • Figure 24: Attitudes towards healthy eating, by age, April 2011
                                                                                • Figure 25: Attitudes towards exercise, by age, April 2011
                                                                            • Computers

                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                  • Figure 26: Ownership of computers, March 2011
                                                                                • What do the over-55s have?
                                                                                  • Which over-55s are the most likely owners?
                                                                                    • Figure 27: Usage of computer most recently obtained for self as primary user, 2010
                                                                                  • What do the over-55s want?
                                                                                    • Figure 28: Proportion of consumers who express an interest in buying or upgrading to a laptop or desktop computer in the next 12 months, March 2011
                                                                                • Other Portable Devices

                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                      • Figure 29: Ownership of other portable devices, March 2011
                                                                                    • What do the over-55s have?
                                                                                      • Mobile phones
                                                                                        • Satellite navigation systems
                                                                                          • Portable media players
                                                                                            • Which over-55s are the most likely owners?
                                                                                              • What do the over-55s want?
                                                                                                • Figure 30: Proportion of consumers who express an interest in buying or upgrading to a portable device in the next 12 months, March 2011
                                                                                              • Mobile phones
                                                                                                • Satellite navigation systems
                                                                                                  • Portable media
                                                                                                    • Figure 31: Most important factors when purchasing an e-book reader, March 2011
                                                                                                • General Attitudes of the Over-55s towards Technology

                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                    • Generally speaking…
                                                                                                      • Figure 32: Attitudes towards technology products, March 2011
                                                                                                    • A wide spectrum of tech-savviness
                                                                                                      • Design for practicality first, aesthetics secondary
                                                                                                        • Figure 33: Most important factors when purchasing technology products, March 2011
                                                                                                      • Buying intentions
                                                                                                        • Figure 34: Devices that consumers have an interest in buying or upgrading in the next 12 months, March 2011
                                                                                                    • Targeting Opportunities

                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                        • Figure 35: Target groups for technology for the over-55s, March 2011
                                                                                                      • Silver Techies
                                                                                                        • Profile
                                                                                                          • Understanding the Silver Techies
                                                                                                            • The Enthusiasts
                                                                                                              • Profile
                                                                                                                • Understanding the Enthusiasts
                                                                                                                  • The Beneficiaries
                                                                                                                    • Profile
                                                                                                                      • Understanding the Benefactors
                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Internal Market Environment

                                                                                                                          • Figure 36: Electronic devices have at home, April 2009-April 2011
                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Device Ownership

                                                                                                                          • Figure 37: Device ownership, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 38: Device ownership, by most popular device ownership, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 39: Device ownership, by next most popular device ownership, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 40: Most popular device ownership, by demographics, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 41: Next most popular device ownership, by demographics, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 42: Other device ownership, by demographics, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 43: Most popular device ownership – under-55s, by demographics, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 44: Next most popular device ownership – under-55s, by demographics, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 45: Most popular device ownership – over-55s, by demographics, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 46: Next most popular device ownership – over-55s, by demographics, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 47: Trends in computer usage – over-55s, 2006-10
                                                                                                                          • Figure 48: Trends in computer usage – under-55s, 2006-10
                                                                                                                          • Figure 49: Trends in agreement with lifestyle statements on TV – over-55s, 2006-10
                                                                                                                          • Figure 50: Trends in agreement with lifestyle statements on TV – under-55s, 2006-10
                                                                                                                          • Figure 51: Trends in agreement with lifestyle statements on ‘Interests’ – over-55s, 2006-10
                                                                                                                          • Figure 52: Trends in agreement with lifestyle statements on ‘Interests’ – under-55s, 2006-10
                                                                                                                          • Figure 53: Trends in agreement with selected lifestyle statements – over-55s, 2006-10
                                                                                                                          • Figure 54: Trends in agreement with selected lifestyle statements – under-55s, 2006-10
                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Buying Interest

                                                                                                                          • Figure 55: Devices that consumers have an interest in buying or upgrading in the next 12 months, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 56: Devices that consumers have an interest in buying or upgrading in the next 12 months – under-55s, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 57: Devices that consumers have an interest in buying or upgrading in the next 12 months – over-55s, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 58: Devices that consumers have an interest in buying or upgrading in the next 12 months, by most popular device ownership – over-55s, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 59: Devices that consumers have an interest in buying or upgrading in the next 12 months, by next most popular device ownership – over-55s, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 60: Devices that consumers have an interest in buying or upgrading in the next 12 months, by devices that consumers have an interest in buying or upgrading in the next 12 months – over-55s, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 61: Devices that consumers have no intention of buying or upgrading in the next 12 months, by most popular device ownership – over-55s, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 62: Most popular devices that consumers have an interest in buying or upgrading in the next 12 months, by demographics, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 63: Next most popular devices that consumers have an interest in buying or upgrading in the next 12 months, by demographics, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 64: Other devices that consumers have an interest in buying or upgrading in the next 12 months, by demographics, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 65: Devices that consumers have an interest in buying or upgrading in the next 12 months – under-55s, by demographics, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 66: Devices that consumers have an interest in buying or upgrading in the next 12 months – over-55s, by demographics, March 2011
                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Critical Purchasing Factors

                                                                                                                          • Figure 67: Most important factors when purchasing technology products, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 68: Most important factors when purchasing technology products – under-55s, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 69: Most important factors when purchasing technology products – over-55s, March 2011
                                                                                                                      • Appendix – General Attitudes towards Technology Products

                                                                                                                          • Figure 70: Attitudes towards usage of technology products, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 71: Attitudes towards usage of technology products, by most popular device ownership – over-55s, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 72: Attitudes towards usage of technology products, by next most popular device ownership – over-55s, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 73: Attitudes towards usage of technology products, by attitudes towards usage of technology products – over-55s, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 74: Most popular attitudes towards usage of technology products, by demographics, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 75: Next most popular attitudes towards usage of technology products, by demographics, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 76: Attitudes towards technology products, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 77: Attitudes towards technology products – under-55s, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 78: Attitudes towards technology products – over-55s, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 79: Attitudes towards technology products, by most popular attitudes towards technology products – over-55s, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 80: Attitudes towards technology products, by next most popular attitudes towards technology products – over-55s, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 81: Attitudes towards technology products, by devices that consumers have an interest in buying or upgrading in the next 12 months – over-55s, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 82: Attitudes towards technology products, by most popular device ownership – over-55s, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 83: Attitudes towards technology products, by next most popular device ownership – over-55s, March 2011
                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Targeting Opportunities

                                                                                                                          • Figure 84: Device ownership – over-55s, by target groups, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 85: Devices that consumers have an interest in buying or upgrading in the next 12 months – over-55s, by target groups, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 86: Devices that consumers have an interest in buying or upgrading in the next 12 months – over-55s, by target groups, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 87: Attitudes towards usage of technology products – over-55s, by target groups, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 88: Attitudes towards technology products – over-55s, by target groups, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 89: Target groups – over-55s, by demographics, March 2011

                                                                                                                      Companies Covered

                                                                                                                      • Aldi Stores Ltd (UK & Ireland)
                                                                                                                      • Amazon.co.uk
                                                                                                                      • Archos
                                                                                                                      • Asda Group Ltd
                                                                                                                      • Bank of England
                                                                                                                      • British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
                                                                                                                      • British Sky Broadcasting Group plc (BSkyB)
                                                                                                                      • Broadcasters' Audience Research Board Limited
                                                                                                                      • Co-operative Group
                                                                                                                      • Freeview
                                                                                                                      • Game Group
                                                                                                                      • Gfk NOP
                                                                                                                      • Government Actuary's Department (GAD)
                                                                                                                      • Hewlett-Packard Ltd (UK)
                                                                                                                      • HTC
                                                                                                                      • Ipsos MORI
                                                                                                                      • J. Sainsbury
                                                                                                                      • Just5
                                                                                                                      • Kantar Media
                                                                                                                      • Kiwi PC
                                                                                                                      • Lidl (UK)
                                                                                                                      • Marks & Spencer
                                                                                                                      • mmO2 plc
                                                                                                                      • Netto Foodstores Ltd
                                                                                                                      • Nintendo UK Entertainment Ltd
                                                                                                                      • Orange plc (UK)
                                                                                                                      • Research in Motion Uk Ltd.
                                                                                                                      • Samsung Electronics (UK) Ltd
                                                                                                                      • Sharp Electronics (UK) Ltd
                                                                                                                      • Sony (UK) Ltd
                                                                                                                      • T-Mobile (UK) Ltd
                                                                                                                      • Tesco Plc
                                                                                                                      • TomTom International B.V.
                                                                                                                      • Virgin Media Ltd
                                                                                                                      • Virgin Mobile
                                                                                                                      • Vodafone Group Plc (UK)
                                                                                                                      • Waitrose
                                                                                                                      • Wm Morrison Supermarkets

                                                                                                                      Technology and the Over-55s - UK - July 2011

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