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Older shoppers are now heading online

06 September 2018 - 13:45 by Simon Crisp

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Pensioners have traditionally been a key part of the high street's midweek trade, but research shows that they are abandoning daily shops in favour of online alternatives. The Office for National Statistics has found that 48pc of pensioners are now opting to shop online, which is a 300pc increase in ten years.

The news comes as three high street stores in the UK close daily, with fierce competition from online competitors and rocketing business rates all making it increasingly hard for brands to remain profitable with purely physical premises.

The over 65 age group is still the least likely to embrace online shopping, but it has still seen the biggest increase over the ten years to 2018. The most popular categories of purchase for buying online were clothing and sporting goods, bought thanks to safe shopping online by just over half of adults (55pc).

The next biggest category for sales was household goods, along with white goods and toys which were bought by just under half of adults. Forty two pc of adults bought their holiday accommodation online. Amongst all age groups, the typical spend was £100 to £499. Those customers choosing to buy online tended to do so between once or twice in a three month period. 

A spokesperson for Mintel, the consumer analyst business, said that the rise and availability of safe shopping online meant that older shoppers were keen to buy through the internet, especially when purchasing bulky items such as white goods or furniture. Retail Analyst, Nick Carroll, explained that online retail was primarily owned by young people in the past, but had become increasingly common for older generations now, particularly as fears around security were tackled, and with delivery included.

The trend also looks set to grow as online retail becomes increasingly commonplace and with the security, experience and ease of buying online continuing to evolve in line with customer expectations.