Baby boomers make the switch to eCommerce – Are you ready?

New research, both in Australia and the US, has found that Baby Boomers continue to expand their online behaviours, with a continued increase in their online purchasing habits.  Bricks and mortar retailers are feeling the impact, the results of which have been well documented in the Australian media last week, with the significant drop in profits for David Jones, owing much to their late adoption of an online strategy.

Australian online retail businesses are warned to discount older consumers at their peril, with a new survey revealing 71% of those aged 50-64 make online purchases from domestic retailers.

The MasterCard World Survey on Online Shopping Behaviour, which includes the responses of 500 Australian consumers, reveals older consumers are comfortable to shop online.  According to the survey, 76% of baby boomers have made an online purchase within the past three months. However, unlike their children, they are still continuing to stay true to local producers by buying locally, with 75 per cent choosing home-grown names over cheaper overseas goods, the survey has found.

In the US, a similar study by The Integer Group confirmed that, as expected, young adults spent most online, mainly on music, books, clothes and electronics, Baby Boomers and families were spending more on everyday goods like food and beverages than Gen Ys.

The study also confirmed that the trend to online shopping is not in addition to traditional retail store shopping, with 73 per cent of respondents saying they were not spending more; they were only spending it differently.  Cold comfort for those organisations who are relying on people to keep doing what they do year in and year out.

Closer to home, research released by the Australian Communications and Media Authority in November last year showed that local businesses were increasing their use of online, with 59 per cent of small and medium businesses taking online orders from customers, either through their own websites or as part of a group buying site.

Not an FMCG? Take note – well constructed websites can still facilitate the most complex online purchase.  Take our latest website launch for Peninsula Health and their Mepacs emergency response personal alarm service.  A 100% accessible site for older consumers which includes sophisticated functionality and user experience.  Mepacs has taken online shopping by this segment very seriously and celebrated its first online purchase the first business day post launch.

Our developers, Hody and Darwin have the know-how to incorporate online purchasing systems into your new or existing website. Take a look at our websites page then give us a call.

Image credit: Jinho.JungFlickr Creative Commons