ANY child knows that good things happen when grandparents reach for their wallets. Internet executives are starting to remember the feeling.

Bob Tedeschi of the New York Times

The New York Times has just published an article making a lot of noise about the entry of the over-55 audience into the market of e-Commerce. Although the market is far from new, in the past year it has grown significantly. The articles shows that 25.5 percent
of online purchases in the last 6 months were made by the over-55 market – a percentage that no online retailer can afford to ignore.

And this can apply to any number of retail industries. After all, the gift buying power of grandparents is not an insignificant part of the teenager and twenty-something sales market.

Rand Fishkin has covered the article at SEOmoz, and there’s an interesting discussion going on at Cre8asite Forums as well.

The first thing I think of when planning to market to a senior market is web accessibility. The over-55 crowd has a significantly higher likelihood of vision loss or motor control problems, and if I want to appeal to them as an audience, my site must be usable by them.

Insuring that your site is accessible is an important step in any web marketing campaign – there is never added value in exluding any portion of your potential market. An inaccessible site is a bad business decision, and even more so as older generations expand their use of the web.