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A blog about what we do and how we do it with some hopefully interesting tips, tutorials and articles about running an online business. Also there will be some other stuff we find interesting or cool and the odd post about some of the projects we are working on, usual blog stuff really. Feedback and comments welcome, ideally constructive and not flaming.

Teens move first... but the rest of us soon follow!

Kate Naylor - Wednesday, July 20, 2011
We're stuck in the middle of a massive demographic time bomb right now. The British population is ageing fast and there will soon be more older people than young 'uns. But the youth market is still seen as the primary place to be. And a surprisingly large number of big brands are still chasing it, the idea being if you catch 'em young they'll stick with your brand for life.   

What do future demographics mean for ecommerce? Unless your products and services are age specific, for instance zit cream or trainers the size of speedboats, it's probably best to try and appeal to a wider age range. If you position your business so it only appeals to the youth market you face a shrinking pot of consumers as the population ages. If you're into empire building, focusing exclusively on the young won't bode well for your business's future! 

When you take youth-specific goods and services out of the equation, it's probably wiser to treat the youth market as an indicator of the things most of us will probably be using and doing before long. Not as your sole target market. Which means your online presence should appeal to everyone and his dog, not just the young and vibrant amongst us. 

Yes, specific products appeal to specific ages. But if you want to appeal to everyone in your potential market, not just a chosen few, there's a lot you can do to make it so. And it isn't rocket science. Consumers appreciate the same basic website attributes when they're shopping online, whatever their age and disposition:

  • a logical, navigable graphical user interface that lets them find what they want easily and quickly
  • good quality images to help them make a sensible buying decision
  • an attractive, on-brand page layout that's easy to read and understand
  • jargon free, benefit led site content that explains everything they need to know about a product 
  • a seamless, fast sales process 
  • swift, secure payment options
As if you needed another good reason to get your website sorted out so it displays well on a mobile, smart phone or tablet. Give it a couple of years and everyone's going to be shopping via a small screen! 
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