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Silver surfers increase e-commerce activity

25 June 2012 - 14:40 by Simon Crisp

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People over the age of 50 are spending more money via safe shopping online today than they were in the past, according to a report from Saga.

A 25 per cent increase in the number of online sales was registered via the Saga Platinum credit card, when usage figures of 2012 are compared with those of 2010.

For every £8 that is spent by the 50+ users of the card, £1 is passed on via an e-commerce transaction of some kind, according to Easier.com.

Twenty-seven per cent of people aged 50 or over now say that they have purchased a smartphone or tablet device, which suggests that we could soon see a surge in the number of m-commerce purchases from this demographic.

Interestingly, it seems that digital download services and entertainment products in general are encouraging the older generation of consumers to part with their cash through safe shopping online.

Platforms like Apple's iTunes are causing more and more of the over 50s to participate in online shopping, allowing today's rates of usage to significantly exceed those of just two years ago.

While fashion items have become some of the most popular e-commerce products across the whole market, the older generation is less comfortable with buying clothes, shoes and accessories online.

The report found that just six per cent of Saga Platinum card users have bought this kind of item via the internet, which could bode well for the high street outlets which cater to this end of the market.

Conversely, the number of over 50s choosing to purchase books, both physical and digital, from sites like Amazon, has increased by a factor of two since 2010, which shows that some areas are more conducive to attracting older shoppers than others in the modern world.