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Older Consumers Shopping Online Since Pandemic Outbreak

Using eCommerce integration will facilitate convenient and safe shopping for customers. 

Since news of the COVID-19 pandemic broke, many older adults, concerned about complications from contracting the virus, have chosen to take extra precautions by not venturing out to purchase the goods they need. 

Instead, they have turned to online shopping and other contactless means of purchasing.  According to eMarketer, Inc., a New York City-based research company, the estimation was made that out of the 204 million people ages 14 and older that will make an online purchase, about two-thirds of this amount will be carried out by people 45 years old and older. Factoring in the pandemic’s impact, they anticipate a 5.8% increase in online buyers who are 45 years of age and older. This was a jump from 3.2%. This represents almost 5 million new online shoppers. 

According to Mastercard Inc.’s SpendingPulse data service, overall e-Commerce spending in the U.S. alone soared up to 93% in comparison to May 2019. 

Survey Says: Baby Boomers Shift To Online Shopping

First Insight, providers of a “complete product-decision making solution”, conducted two surveys. There was one on February 28 and March 17 earlier this year. What they saw was a dramatic shift in baby boomers making online purchases in just those three weeks. By March, 23% of baby boomers had reported making more of their purchases online due to COVID-19. This was a considerable hike from 8% of baby boomers back in February.

Salesforce, the San Francisco-based cloud software company, launched its own survey to determine the shopping habits of U.S. adults in the first two weeks of May. What was discovered was that 28% of baby boomers utilized contactless delivery more than ever. About 23% used self-checkout and 23% opted for click-and-collect. 

Back in April 2020, GlobalWebIndex, a market research company, conducted a study that found that 31% of U.S. “internet users” who span from 16 to 64 years of age have expressed their desire to do their shopping online “more frequently” post-pandemic. It also found that 30% are anticipated to visit stores “less frequently.”

Debit Cards In The Lead

PSCU, the country’s foremost payments credit union service organization, released overall performance trends for the week of June 14, 2020. It found that, although credit card volumes were showing positive gains, debit cards were leading the way in making the most dramatic comeback. The overall spending using debit cards was up 12.9%, indicating a “ninth consecutive week of year-over-year growth. This growth has not been witnessed since the “pandemic buying spree” back in March. Although transactions were down 1.2%, the weekly improvements have been holding steady for an impressive eleven consecutive weeks. 

Also, in PSCU’s transaction trend report, it was reported that debit CNP volume jumped 41.6% for all purchases and 42.2% for transactions above the same week during the previous year. For credit card CNP, there was an increase of 11.3% for purchases and 23.3% for transactions. 

Overall spending through the use of credit cards was down 6.7% “year over year”. However, this marks an improvement from the week prior. Although transactions were also down by 11.4%, it has demonstrated an improvement for ten consecutive weeks. 

For Older Adults, Online Shopping Is Here To Stay

Without question, older adults have come to discover the convenience and safety that comes with online shopping. With another possible wave of infection predicted this fall, this shopping behavior will be the preferred choice for those wanting to shield themselves from exposure and infection.