Despite shopping in general being down, online shopping has increased. According to new data from The Checkout (a newsletter that compiles data from the ongoing shopper experience study currently underway by The Integer Group and M/A/R/C Research) 73% of shoppers who are buying more online are NOT shopping more — they are just shopping differently. While younger generations (18-24 year-olds) appear more comfortable shopping online, they continue to stick with ‘safe’ purchases in categories that historically, are purchased online (electronics, clothing, books and music). The surprise comes from the boomer shopper segment. When considering the somewhat newer CPG online shopping world (health, beauty, food, beverage), it’s the older shoppers making these purchases.
Consumers born between 1946 and 1964 comprise a group of 78 million strong. But Baby Boomers, all well past the age of 35, are not exactly the sweet spot as far as most marketers are concerned. The lopsided distribution of ad dollars by age group in the U.S. was the topic of a recent Nielsenwire blogpost.
The NPD Group recently released results from a new report “Beyond the Boomers,” which takes a look at the perceptions and behaviors of Baby Boomers, Gen-X, and Gen-Y as they relate to the home improvement marketplace. The new study found that there are some similarities between these groups when it comes to making home improvement purchases, but there are also differences retailers and manufacturers should be watching. “Baby Boomers and Gen-X each currently represent just over 30% of the population, and Gen-Y accounts for 15%, but there is an ‘opportunity gap’ that plays a role here as well,” said Mark Delaney, director of NPD’s home improvement and major appliance divisions. “Given that, developing a variety of marketing messages and strategies becomes more important so that retailers and manufacturers can narrow that gap and find the opportunities.”
Seniors aged 65 and older (also referred to as “Matures”) have made the Internet an integral part of their everyday lives. In a recent study, 77% report that they shop online. In fact, Matures lead all other generational groups when it comes to this online activity. They regularly use email (94%), go to the Internet to look up health and medical information (71%), read news (70%), and manage their finances and banking (59%). Matures also turn to the Internet for gaming, approximately half (47%) of online Matures regularly play free online games.