Online retail start-ups looking to spark sales shouldn’t discount older consumers, 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, compared to 79% of those in the 18-24 age bracket.
The survey reveals 75% of all money spent online, by those aged 50 or over, is processed by local merchants, but only 59% of money spent by 18-24 year-olds is processed locally.
However, baby boomers are more concerned with security and customer service, with 95% noting the importance of a secure payment facility, and 92% citing service as a deciding factor.
This has highlighted the need for retailers to ensure easy, fast and safe transactions.
When asked why they prefer to shop online through local retailers, 40% of the consumers surveyed said it is faster, while 33% cited convenience as the chief motivating factor.
Meanwhile, 23% believe buying locally is cheaper than shopping through overseas outlets.
While baby boomers favour local sites, Australians aged 45-49 are the most prolific online shoppers overall, with 83% accessing the internet for online shopping in the past three months.
However, baby boomers have proved to be the greatest online purchasers, with shoppers aged 50-64 buying almost five products online in the last three months alone.
According to MasterCard Australia country manager Andrew Cartwright, the differences in behaviour between age groups is growing, and retailers should respond to these differences.
Cartwright says the findings highlight a “strong underlying desire” – especially among older shoppers – to support the local industry and buy Australian, which is good news for start-ups.
“The rise of eCommerce can sometimes create disruptions and challenges for the local retail sector,” Cartwright says.
“[However,] it also presents lucrative opportunities for local outlets to harness a growing desire to buy Australian whilst online.”
“We are seeing a renewed push by… iconic local brands to reinvigorate their online offerings and cater to the heightened demands of savvy online shoppers.”
Cartwright says shoppers will reward local stores as long as they invest in, and continue to update, their online presence.
“Presenting an innovative and fun experience is becoming a vital tactic for those wishing to gain a loyal customer base,” he says.