Franchises Must Make the Most of Consumer Smartphone Use
Franchises Must Make the Most of Consumer Smartphone Use

Older, less affluent Americans glued to their smartphones as well.

It’s official: If your franchise isn’t making the most of smartphones, it’s missing out on a massive form of customer engagement.

It’s no secret younger consumers are glued to their smartphones (and with the ability to surf the Internet, watch movies, check emails and log on to social media platforms at their fingertips, who can blame them?). However, many franchise brands are failing to maximize the potential these devices offer.

They write off their failure by convincing themselves not everyone is using smartphones. After all, pouring money into smartphone apps and ads won’t appeal to older consumers or those whose salaries would seem to preclude purchasing the latest tech toys, right? Wrong.

The NPD Group recently reported that Americans aged 55 and older, as well as those who make less than $30,000 per year, represent the largest source of growth for the U.S. smartphone market. In fact, February 2015 marked the third consecutive three-month period in which smartphone sales among those earning less than $30,000 increased by more than 50 percent.

Meanwhile, buyers who were 55 or older accounted for 28 percent of all smartphone sales during the same time period – a 24 percent increase from a year ago.

Put simply, age and income are no longer barriers to smartphone use, meaning brands don’t have any excuse to ignore these devices’ marketing possibilities.

"The smartphone market continues to undergo radical changes, even as it approaches maturity in the U.S.,” NPD Analyst Stephen Baker said in a statement. “As older and less affluent buyers enter the market, the industry is increasingly offering pricing and service plans that match the needs of these demographics. With this changing customer base, we see an important catalyst for the shift in the competitive landscape.”