by Stacy DeBroff

"New Insights on the Empty-Nester Generation "The Empty-Nester Boomer generation has been recognized for its lasting impact on everything from politics to culture to the economy. But surprisingly, the women within this group have been misrepresented in the media and inaccurately portrayed in marketing and advertising. Why, despite its deep influence on American culture, do we now view this generation as technologically adrift, still wedded to traditional media, and out of-touch with current trends?

To shed some light on this demographic as a dynamic generation of consumers, Influence Central teamed up with the online community Vibrant Nation and embarked on a study of 600 + American women over the age of 45 without kids living at home. Our study revealed unprecedented insights on this generation from a consumer perspective and upended current thinking about this cohort. Here are three common myths surrounding Empty-Nesters:

Myth #1: Empty-Nesters Don’t Get Today’s Technology

Despite not growing up in the digital era, our study showed that Empty-Nesters have demonstrated their mettle by rising to the online challenge and today, nearly 90% have a Facebook account and 9 out of 10 consider themselves “texters.”

  • 82% spend more time browsing online than in-store.
  • 65% of Empty-Nesters use their Smartphone to seek out product information.
  • 64% make purchases from online retailers from their tablets.

Myth #2: Traditional Media Drives Empty-Nesters’ Purchasing Decisions

Our survey revealed that in reality, Empty-Nesters view traditional advertising with a skeptical eye, with only 11% agreeing that they trust what they read in print publications or hear in broadcast media, and just 12% saying they are more likely to purchase a product when it’s used in a compelling ad. The survey revealed that first- and third-person recommendations and reviews play a key role in this generation’s purchasing decisions.

  • 79% of Empty-Nesters are more likely to purchase a product if it receives a high star rating in a retail e-commerce review.
  • 74% are more likely to purchase a product that receives a positive first-person review.

Myth #3: Empty-Nesters Remain “Behind the Times”

In today’s fast-moving culture with here-today-gone-tomorrow trends, many assume Empty-Nesters are disengaged or not interested in keeping up. By contrast, Empty-Nesters view themselves as modern women who think independently and take charge of their lives and decision-making.

  • 71% disagree that they are behind the times or disengaged from consumerism and pop culture.
  • 68% consider themselves as the first person to try new things and as independent thinkers.
  • 58% identify themselves as the front-runner over others to try the newest thing.

Stacy DeBroff, founder and CEO of Influence Central, is a social media strategist, attorney, and best-selling author. A frequent national and international speaker, she consults with brands on consumer and social media trends. You can reach her at