Apparently, baby boomers have taken over e-commerce shopping. From groceries to clothing, rather than risking in-person hunting and gathering, boomers are going online to get just about everything. Peeps over 65 are the fastest-growing demo for e-commerce shopping.
And e-commerce sellers have taken notice. Retailers are jumping on the trend with 24-hour customer service and helpful videos for first-time e-commerce shoppers. The over 65 crowd on average spent $1,615 online between January and October of 2020. That’s a 49 percent increase over 2019. And that’s why they are the fastest growing bunch of online spenders.
Not just content to spend big bucks, the boomers plus group is also buying more often. Frequency of purchases climbed 40 percent over that same period in 2020.
Remember how often you read opinion pieces in the news about how the pandemic might change things forever? Online purchasing might be one of those habits that does not go back to the way things used to be. No longer shy about buying online, the 65 and up demo would rather stay out of the grocery and mall, and that could have real lasting impact on the brick and mortar sector. As in fewer stores and malls. Every day it seems you hear about another shopping mall being converted into apartments and condos. Expect that trend to continue as more of us beyond age 65 are content to get everything shipped or delivered.
According to AARP, consumers 50 and older spent $7.6 trillion in 2018. That was 56 percent of ALL spending in the U.S. You know the old saying about the 800 pound gorilla. Early adopters are no longer influencing the greatest change when it comes to how people are shopping.
We can look at this again a year from now, when pandemic fears and behavior modification are hopefully behind us. But it’s a good bet that many of baby boomers will continue to find online shopping less of a hassle than in-store shopping. Except when it comes to buying bananas. You’ve got to see the bananas in person if you want the best.
Jay Harrison is a writer and creative consultant for DesignConcept. His mystery novel, Head Above Water, is available on Amazon and Kindle. You can also visit his author page here.