Research from Marine Recreational Boating may show that the average boater today is nearly 60 years-old; however, as these older individuals retire from the water or become incapable of boating due to old age, a new crop of younger boaters is emerging.
This has long been a topic of discussion among today’s most prominent figures in the boating world. As Sally Helme, publisher of boating magazine Cruising World, recently explained in an interview for The Journal Times: “There are always people who age out of boating, like any other activity.” Some of these older individuals will step away from the activity altogether, while others will slowly minimize their level of activity. For instance, older sailors may decide to transition to smaller sailboats that are easier to handle or trawlers.
Younger individuals are slowly but surely easing into the world of boating, usually in the form of a partial boat ownership or rental as the majority of boaters earn over six figures, per the aforementioned research. It’s important, therefore, that boatyard owners understand how to effectively communicate with this group of people. After all, communication preferences can drastically differ between these older and younger groups. Older folks may prefer traditional phone or email, for instance, while younger customers may favor digital service channels like live Web chat or text messaging.
There is, however, one communication method that these two groups equally prefer: mobile apps. Aggregated research from Go-Globe, for instance, shows that:
- People aged 18 to 24 have an average of 28 apps downloaded to their device
- Those aged 55+ have an average of 22 apps downloaded
With research showing that people aged 18-55+ own over 20 apps, a mobile service coordination app that enables boaters both novice and seasoned to collaborate with service professionals becomes an ideal option. Mobile apps are a proven way to target younger boaters who are new to your facility, as well as retain older boaters who are looking for new ways to stay engaged and communicate. With the research showing that the average time people spent on mobile apps increased by 21 percent from 2014 to 2015 alone, it’s hard to believe that mobile app use will slow down soon, if ever.
These numbers translate into unparalleled brand and customer engagement opportunities for boatyard owners in the form of an advanced task manager application. Such an app is easily accessible via any Internet-enabled device—smartphone, tablet, etc.—and can help service professionals better communicate with boaters of all ages, including millennials.