Are Older Generations Starting to Shop Online?
The older generations, otherwise known as baby boomers, have started transitioning to online shopping. Although lagging behind the younger generations when it comes to this consumer trend, older generations are starting to shop online because they enjoy the convenience and efficiency.
Traditional Shopping Is Becoming Stressful for Baby Boomers
Above all else, convenience is something that baby boomers are looking for when they are shopping. Since they are just too stressed for shopping trips, especially during the pandemic, baby boomers are looking for ways to explore the internet.
According to a survey, seniors are very comfortable browsing the web and shopping online, with 85% of the respondents saying they research products online.
Moreover, they are not against purchasing products online, with 66% of baby boomers reportedly making regular purchases online. However, it can’t be denied that many of them prefer the personal engagement of traditional stores when buying what they need.
Perhaps this is because brick-and-mortar shops are more engaged in customer service than online stores – there’s no replacement for human interaction. At the same time, they put great value on brands based on their interactions with retailers or sales associates.
Seniors Transition to Online Shopping
Even before the coronavirus pandemic, people were already moving more towards online shopping and even payment industry trends predicted a shift towards alternative forms of payments and new security features to accommodate this. Today, more and more people are getting away from congested areas such as malls and grocery stores due to concerns regarding the coronavirus outbreak. Will consumers continue shopping online, even after the pandemic?
Yes. In March of 2020, a survey indicated that Chinese citizens were avoiding crowded public places with 85% of people using the internet to shop. On the other hand, only 27% of respondents in the U.S. made the transition to online shopping at the time.1 But many Americans have since avoided public places more often, especially as many states across the country implemented lockdown restrictions that are only now starting to lift.
Since nothing can alter the need for humans to look for food or buy items that they need or want, the pandemic made it clear how businesses can adapt to a digital platform to continue operations and accept credit card payments online as both younger and older generations are starting to shop online more often.
Older Generations Expected to Avoid Physical Stores
As the older population is more vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19, they are more likely to leverage the internet to avoid stores as the pandemic worsens.
A survey found that 86% of people over the age of 61 are going to transition to shopping online just to avoid malls and shopping centers.2 As fears of the virus grow more intense, baby boomers have taken a big leap into the online shopping trend.
Online Customer Service for Baby Boomers
Beyond simply accepting payments on a WordPress website, e-commerce sites are supporting the shopping needs of baby boomers, who value customer service, by offering services and incentives similar to those in brick-and-mortar stores.
Retailers and consumer goods brands are looking to meet the needs of baby boomers by providing detailed nutrition information and interactive videos showcasing how a product needs to be set up or ways it can be used. Retailers are also offering round-the-clock customer service to ensure older generations are satisfied with their online shopping experiences.
Even once the coronavirus pandemic has settled, several analysts expect that older generations will continue shopping online, so make sure you partner with a reliable payment processing company that can offer a wide range of options as varied as your customer base. From accepting credit card payments over the phone, online, or in-person to offering ACH payment processing to customers who prefer checks, there are numerous ways to cater to your customers to make their experience with your business convenient.
- Insider Intelligence – Internet Users in Select Countries Who Have Avoided Crowded Public Places to Protect Themselves from the Coronavirus, by Country, March 2020
- Coronavirus Briefing: Flash Report – US Internet Users Who Are Likely to Avoid Stores if the Coronavirus Outbreak Worsens in the US, by Age, Feb 2020
Joyce Hope is a writer who specializes in merchant accounts. She has worked for First Card Payments since 2017.