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UK Senior Shoppers Increasingly Embracing Digital

Many seniors comfortable shopping online

July 15, 2014 | Retail & Ecommerce | Demographics

Shoppers in the UK still see the physical store as their primary shopping channel. Even among internet users, in-store shopping is popular, and that’s particularly true for seniors. According to March 2014 polling by Retail Week in association with BT (British Telecom), 54.6% of UK internet users ages 55 and over shopped mostly in-store.

Online vs. In-Store Shopping Behavior According to UK Internet Users, by Age, March 2014 (% of respondents in each group)

But not insignificant numbers stated they were using digital at some point in their shopping journey, certainly when compared with other age groups. For example, 14.8% of over-54s said they researched online and then bought in-store, vs. 19.5% of 18- to 24-year-olds who did so.

There are signs, then, that UK seniors are beginning to involve digital in at least some of their shopping considerations. And attitudes among those in this age group toward shopping online indicate that this kind of behavior may become even more common.

Attitudes Toward Online Shopping Among UK Millennial and Senior Internet Users, Jan 2014 (% of respondents in each group)

January 2014 research by YouGov for found that, when it came to a direct comparison with millennials (ages 18 to 24), seniors seemed much less encumbered by any concerns around online shopping. A larger proportion of UK internet users 55 and older said that nothing held them back from shopping online—43%, vs. 32% of millennials. Indications are that for seniors, “the shackles are off” when it comes to shopping online.

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