I often hear from collision center operators that, “our customers are older, and they don’t use the Internet.” While that may have been true five or six years ago, a check of the latest Internet usage statistics shows otherwise. Data from the Pew Internet & American Life Project shows that the fastest growing population online is the 70 to 75 year old age group. As of December 2008, 45% of 70 to 75 year olds were online and approximately 60% of 60 to 70 year olds are as well. So does Grandma use the Internet? The answer is, “yes, it’s very likely.” Business owners and body shops that ignore this group may do so at their own peril.
Certainly the older generations behavior online differs from the younger generations. 74% of Internet users age 64 and older use email. You won’t find many of them playing games online, however. The younger generations use email of course, but also engage very heavily in social media and instant messaging which is not as prevalent for older Internet users.
It may be time for collision center operators and body shop managers to check some of their assumptions on the Internet behaviors of their customers, especially the older boomers and beyond. Body shop customers are using the Internet more and more, and yes, even Grandma.