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Research proves how tech savvy empty nesters really are: how to reach them

(Business Marketing) Empty nesters are often thought of as less tech savvy than their younger counterparts, but new research proves otherwise – how your brand needs to adapt to this shift.

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Empty nesters are often misunderstood

When you hear the phrase “tech savvy,” your mind likely imagines a 20-something in a hoodie, using the newest app on the newest smartphone, outpacing their elders. A decade ago, you would have been closer to the mark, but today, the term is applicable to another generation – Empty Nesters.

According to a new study by Influence Central, “digitally fluent” and “tech savvy” are easily descriptors of the 45+ Empty Nester generation, as this consumer group has widely adopted emerging technologies, catching up with Millennials and rising to the challenge of today’s available technologies.

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“Our research showed that a profound disconnect exists in how this generation sees themselves and how they’re viewed externally,” shares Stacy DeBroff, CEO of Influence Central. “Today’s Empty-Nesters feel confident, tech-savvy, and highly connective online, yet marketers still stereotype them as passively consuming traditional media and swept up in advertising. Empty-Nesters are embracing social media and today’s online recommendation culture, ignoring and disliking advertising, and completely redefining their consumer journey.”

Quick facts from the study:

  1. Nearly 90 percent of Empty Nesters are on Facebook.
  2. Roughly 60 percent share posts through Twitter.
  3. Fully 72 percent use their smartphone to visit social media sites.
  4. 90 percent consider themselves texters; 36 percent prefer it over talking on the phone.
  5. Nine in 10 research an item online before making a spend.
  6. Nearly 80 percent are more likely to purchase a product if it receives a high star rating in a retail e-commerce review.
  7. 75 percent are more likely to purchase a product that receives a positive first-person review.
  8. Fully 45 percent are more likely to purchase a product if it is recommended by a blogger they follow.
  9. 12 percent say they’re more likely to purchase a product when used in a compelling commercial ad.
  10. More than 65 percent say they are skeptical of traditional advertising.
  11. Over 80 percent spend more time browsing for products online than in the store.
  12. 65 percent use their smartphone to seek out product information.
  13. 64 percent make purchases from online retailers from their tablets.

So this generation is skeptical of traditional advertising, researches products endlessly, and relies on their phone or tablet to make purchases? Sounds familiar – Millennials, your parents have caught up with you. Brands need to pay attention to this rapid shift and cease treating anyone over 40 as if they don’t know how to turn on a computer.

5 surprising ways to reach empty nesters

In response to this research, Influence Central offers in their own words below, five ways your brand should be reaching these empty nesters:

1. Draw Up a New Marketing Playbook: With nearly 90% of today’s Empty-Nesters on Facebook and 9 out of 10 viewing themselves as “texters,” using yesterday’s marketing strategy no longer resonates. Brands need to shift their marketing approach and create new ways to reach Empty-Nesters as they continue their online navigation and spelunking.

2. Throw Out the Stereotypes: Twenty-first century Empty-Nesters see themselves as hip, modern adventurous women yet feel a gap in how they envision themselves and how they’re depicted in traditional marketing. As 60% tune out traditional ads because they feel they are not accurately targeted, marketers need to get a better understanding of where Empty-Nesters are at this life stage and change their strategies accordingly.

3. Make Them an Offer: While more than 60% of Empty-Nesters follow brands on social media, they do so with a purpose – to find deals, information, and coupons. In fact, this generation doesn’t want constant interaction or relationships with brands – they want promotions! Not surprisingly, just 33% enjoy when brands interact with them online.

4. Ramp Up Online Recommendations: This Generation Will Google You! For today’s Empty-Nesters, first- and third-person recommendations and reviews factor heavily into their purchasing decisions. More than 95% seek out online reviews of products to receive feedback and recommendations prior to purchasing, and 56% say negative restaurant/retailer reviews online would convince them not to visit these places.

5. Move From In-Store to Online: These on-the-move Empty-Nesters no longer browse leisurely in-store – now more than 80% spend more time looking around online for products than in brick-and-mortar stores. And mobile devices have become key purchasing tools, as 65% use their Smartphone to search for product information, and 64% make online retail purchases from their tablets.

The American Genius is news, insights, tools, and inspiration for business owners and professionals. AG condenses information on technology, business, social media, startups, economics and more, so you don’t have to.

Business Marketing

Spruce up your product images with Glorify (just in time for Black Friday!)

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Want professional, customizable product images for your company? Consider Glorify’s hot Black Friday deal.

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Glorify app lets you create beautiful designs for your products.

Glorify, the app that creates high converting, customizable product images for your business, is offering a lifetime deal for $97 this Black Friday. In just a few clicks, you can transform one of Glorify’s sleek templates into personalized, professional-looking content – and now, you don’t have to pay that monthly fee.

Whether your business is in electronics, beauty, or food & drink, Glorify offers a range of looks that will instantly bring your product images to the next level. With countless font styles and the ability to alter icon styles, shadows and other elements, you can access all the perks of having your own designer without the steep price.

In 2019, Glorify was launched – the app was soon voted #2 Product of the Day and nominated for Best Design Tool by Product Hunt. Since then, they have cultivated a 20k+ user base!

Glorify 2.0, which was launched last week, upgrades the experience. The new and improved version of the app is complete overhaul of intuitive UI improvements and extra features, such as:

  • background remover tool
  • templates based on popular product niches and themes
  • design bundles for your website/store, social media
  • annotation tool
  • upload your brand kits and organize your projects under different brands
  • 1 click brand application
  • & much more!

“But the most important aspect of Glorify 2.0, is that it comes with a UI that sets us up for future scalability for all our roadmap features”, said CEO of Glorify Omar Farook, who himself was a professional graphic designer.

Farook’s dream was to provide a low-cost design service for the smaller businesses that couldn’t otherwise afford design services. Looking through reviews of the app, it’s evident that Glorify does just that – it saves the user time and money while helping them to produce top-notch product images for their brand on their own.

Glorify is one of the many new design-based apps that make producing content a breeze for entrepreneurs, such as Canva. As someone who loves design but doesn’t have the patience for Creative Cloud, I personally love this technology. However, Glorify is unique in that it is the only product-driven design app. All you have to do is upload your photo!

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Business Marketing

This new Chipotle location will be fully digital

(BUSINESS NEWS) In the wake of the pandemic and popularity of online delivery, Chipotle is joining the jump to online-only locations, at least to test drive.

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Chipotle exterior, possibly moving to a fully digital restaurant space soon.

A lot of industries have switched to an online-only model in the wake of the pandemic. Most of them have made sense; between abundant delivery options and increased restrictions on workers, moving away from the traditional storefront paradigm isn’t exactly a radical choice. Chipotle making that same decision, however, is a plot twist of a different kind—yet that’s exactly what they’re doing with their first online store.

To be clear, the chain isn’t doing away with their existing locations; they’re just test-driving a “digital” location for the time being. That said, the move to an online platform raises interesting questions about the future of the restaurant industry—if not just Chipotle itself.

The move to an online platform actually makes a lot of sense for businesses like Chipotle. Since the classic Chipotle experience is much less centered on the “dining” aspect than it is on the customizability of food options, putting those same options online and giving folks some room to deliver both decreases Chipotle’s physical footprint and, ostensibly, opens up their services to more people.

It’s also a timely move given the sheer number of people who are sheltering in place. A hands-on burrito assembly line is not the optimal place to be in a pandemic, but there’s no denying the utilitarian appeal of Chipotle’s products. To that end, having another restaurant wherein you have the option to order a hearty meal with everything you like—which is also tailored to your dietary needs—is a crucial step for consumers.

Chipotle’s CTO, Curt Garner, says he is hoping this online alternative will offer a “frictionless” experience for diners.

As a part of that frictionless experience, consumers will be able to order in several different mediums. Chipotle’s website and their mobile app are the preferred choices, while services like GrubHub will also be available should you choose to order through a third-party. The idea is simple: To bring Chipotle to you with as little fuss as possible.

For now, Chipotle is committing to the single digital location to see how consumer demand pans out. Should the model prove successful, they plan to move forward with implementing additional digital locations nationwide.

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Business Marketing

Your business’ Yelp listing may be costing you more than you think

(BUSINESS MARKETING) The pay per click system Yelp uses sounds good in theory, but it may be hurting small businesses more than helping.

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Man browsing Yelp for his business listing in open office environment.

We all know Yelp – we’ve probably all used Yelp’s comment section to decide whether or not that business is worth giving our money to. What you might not know is how they are extorting the small businesses they partner with.

For starters, it’s helpful to understand that Yelp generates revenue through a pay per click (PPC) search model. This means whenever a user clicks on your advertisement, you pay Yelp a small fee. You never pay Yelp a cent if no one clicks on your ad.

In theory, this sounds great – if someone is seeking out your product or service and clicks on your ad, chances are you’re going to see some of that return. This is what makes paying $15, $50, or even $100 a click worth it.

In practice, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. When setting up your Yelp account, you are able to plug in keywords that correspond with your business. For example, owner of San Francisco-based Headshots Inc. Dan St. Louis – former Yelp advertiser turned anti-Yelp advocate – plugged in keywords for his business, such as “corporate photographer” and “professional headshots”. When someone in the Bay Area searches one of those terms, they are likely to see Headshots Inc.’s Yelp ad.

You are also able to plug in keyword searches in which your ad will not appear. That sounds great too – no need to pay for ad clicks that will ultimately not bring in revenue for your business. In the case of Headshots Inc., Dan plugged in terms such as “affordable baby photography” and “affordable studio photography”, as his studio is quite high-end and would very likely turn off a user who is using the word “affordable” in their search.

How Yelp really cheats its small business partners is that it finds loopholes in your keyword input to place your ad in as many non-relevant searches as possible. This ensures that your ad is clicked more and, as a result, you have to pay them more without reaping any of the monetary benefits for your business.

If you plugged in “cheap photography” to your list of searches in which your ad will not appear, Yelp might still feature your ad for the “cheap photos” search. As if a small business owner has the time to enter in every single possible keyword someone might search!

In the case of Headshots Inc., Dan ended up paying $10k in total ad spend to Yelp with very little return. Needless to say, he is pissed.

So what does this mean for you if you use Yelp for your business? If you don’t want to completely opt out of Yelp’s shenanigans, try these 3 tips from Dan:

  1. Try searching some potential irrelevant keywords – are your ads showing up in these searches?
  2. Do your best to block the irrelevant keywords. It’s impossible to get them all, but the more you do the more money you will ultimately save.
  3. Keep an eye on the conversation rate on your profile – does more clicks mean more client inquiries? Make sure Yelp isn’t sending low-quality traffic to your profile.

Ultimately, it’s about protecting your small business. Yelp is the latest in big tech to be outted for manipulating individuals and small businesses to up their margins – a truly despicable act, if you ask me. If you don’t have tens of thousands of dollars for ad spend, then either boycott Yelp or try these tips – your company may depend on it.

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