Grandparents are a huge market to tap, whether you are directly targeting them for your seniors travel business or indirectly for your children’s toys business.
Estimates from different surveys show that there are anywhere from 30 to over 70 million of grandparents in the United States alone, and a sizeable portion of these grandparents take care of their grandkids for various reasons. The National Mail Order Association has collected a great deal of data on grandparents
According to GRAND magazine , the demographic characteristics of grandparents are:
- average age of first time grandparents is 47
- over 70 million grandparents
- 4,000 baby boomers become grandparents every day
- over 75% of the 50+ market are grandparents
- 77% of the nation’s wealth and 50% discretionary spending come from this group
- annual spending on grandchildren alone top $70 billion
Given the above numbers, grandparents are a great market for children’s products. They buy cribs, baby clothes, strollers, and other baby items as gifts to their grandkids. Others buy these items for the use of their grandkids when they visit the grandparents’ homes, so the parents don’t have to carry all these things. There are also others who buy baby items because the babies and kids live with the grandparents.
According to The Grandparent Study 2002 Report from AARP, the top reasons grandparents spend money on their children are birthday gifts (97%), holiday gifts such as Christmas, Hanukah, or Kwanzaa (96%), because they enjoy buying things for grandchildren (93%) and to entertain or have fun with their grandchildren (90%).
Aside from spending for their grandchildren, grandparents also spend on cars, vacation homes, travel, insurance products, financial products, and others. They are also concerned with their health and ensuring quality lifestyles — and that means they are a good market for organic foods, vitamins, exercise equipment.
One small business who directly targets grandparents is SpoiledGrandKids.com, which is run by a grandmother herself Arvey Krise. SpoiledGrandKids.com™ was conceived to offer a one stop shop depot for grandparents where they could find the latest in quality fashion, from trendy to traditional, to designer baby and kid’s furniture, toys, baby gear and accessories.
To reach this huge market, here are suggestions from the experts:
- Target Magazine (July 2007) says that grandparents do not want to be told how to be a good grandparent as they have already raised families. They respond to messages “about enriching their relationships with their grandchildren.”
- According to Focalyst in their study “Meet the Grandparents”, grandparents are plugged and are online. About 60% of grandparents surveyed cited the Internet as their top source for information and advice, and they are emailing their friends and families at least three to five times a week. Marketing to this group should be done online.
- Many of the buying decisions are done by women, so it is a good idea to target grandmothers in your campaigns.
(Originally published May 5, 2008)