Interview • 01.08.2019

Silver Surfers: Older adults ride the wave of mobile technology and shop online

The increasing importance of e-commerce for senior citizens

Man in a suit without a tie smiles diagonally into the camera...
Spencer Hinzen
Source: Ruckus Netwerks

You are wrong if you think it’s mostly young people who spend time online. Older adults are also increasingly embracing online shopping with enthusiasm.

In this interview, Spencer Hinzen, Director of Sales, Central Region, Ruckus Networks, describes how members of the older generation like to spend their money, explains what this means for online retailers and reveals where changes are still required despite steady growth in digital transformation.

Mr. Hinzen, compared to statistics from 2017, more seniors than ever shop online. Why is that? Has it become easier for them to use the Internet?

Spencer Hinzen: The results of our online survey among 1,000 senior citizens last year has indeed shown that nearly 40 percent of those aged 65 and older already use the Internet to shop. On the whole, Germans spend an increasing amount of time online: almost 54 million people are online every day, spending an average of 196 minutes, nearly three and a half hours on the Internet!

Even seniors over 70 surf the net for nearly an hour each day. The increase in online shopping among the older generation has less to do with user-friendliness and is actually because older adults are becoming more tech-savvy. Computers, smartphones, and laptops are constant companions – and continue to be in retirement as well. People are simply embracing these technologies and don’t want to do without the options and conveniences of the Internet just because they are getting older.

Why do older adults appreciate online shopping?

Many consumers, including older adults, like to shop from the comfort of their home. If you are no longer as mobile as you used to be, online shopping becomes a great way to maintain your independence and quality of life with age. This allows you to keep up with the latest trends and order products online.

Two seniors - man and woman - sitting in front of their laptop and shopping...
Older people like to surf the Internet and shop there. Especially when they move into an old people's home, they often have to do without it.
Source: PantherMedia / AndrewLozovyi

What types of products and platforms are most popular with the older generation?

Silver surfers and digital natives basically share similar buying patterns. However, unlike younger online buyers, the older generation tends to spend more money online. The most popular product categories with seniors include music, books, and even video games. Having said that, they still prefer to purchase items like furniture or cosmetics "offline" at brick-and-mortar stores.

What e-commerce strategy should online retailers use to help attract older adults?

If online retailers want to reach an older target audience online, they must tailor their marketing and advertising content to the needs of the senior demographic. According to the Ruckus survey, the majority of respondents (55.7 percent) say they use their smartphones to go online. That's why mobile optimized websites and mobile usability are the keys to e-commerce success. However, usability should not be the only element of an e-commerce strategy. E-commerce companies must cater to the preferences of their target audience throughout the entire customer journey. For example, since older adults prefer to pay by invoice, retailers should offer this as a payment option.

Despite continued worldwide e-commerce growth, is there still room for improvement?

Older adults value a professional web presence. Testimonials or trust seals are great ways for e-commerce companies to inspire trust. In addition, silver surfers want a simple navigation menu and detailed descriptions of products, costs for shopping, warranties and delivery information. Online retailers can also score big points with excellent customer services such as chatbots or callback functions.

Venturing a glimpse into the future, what are the e-commerce trends when it comes to senior citizens?

Seniors enjoy a high level of discretionary spending power and are one of the reasons that online food deliveries now rank among the fastest-growing product categories in German e-commerce. Apart from groceries, older adults are also interested in recreational activities, travel, and wellness. E-commerce companies can ensure future sales and success by offering vacation options for the so-called best ager target group. A reliable internet connection is an essential prerequisite for creating a memorable online shopping experience.

We presently see a need for improvement when it comes to wireless access in retirement communities. Right now, seniors living in retirement homes are largely excluded as e-commerce participants. Why? According to the WLAN-Studie Pflegeheime 2018 (English: Wi-Fi for Retirement Homes 2018), less than 40 percent of retirement facilities in Germany are currently equipped with Wi-Fi. Smooth internet access to online shopping for a majority of those older than 65 is only possible if these communities have a comprehensive digital infrastructure.

Interview: Katja Laska

related articles:

popular articles:

Thumbnail-Photo: Zebra Technologies to acquire Reflexis Systems, Inc....
10.08.2020   #POS communications #workforce deployment

Zebra Technologies to acquire Reflexis Systems, Inc.

Acquisition helps Zebra empower every worker at the edge to execute the best next action

Zebra Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: ZBRA), an innovator at the front line of business with solutions and partners that deliver a performance edge, today announced it intends to acquire Reflexis Systems, Inc., a ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Digital access controls support distancing requirements in the era of...
06.07.2020   #brick and mortar retail #retail

Digital access controls support distancing requirements in the era of Corona

Essential staff are relieved and the risk of infection is reduced

Since the beginning of the pandemic, larger supermarkets and discounters have been imposing entrance restrictions to ensure that only a certain number of people are allowed within their Stores. Usually the access management is carried out by ...

Thumbnail-Photo: CCV announces consolidation of its international payment division,...
02.07.2020   #mobile payment #payment systems

CCV announces consolidation of its international payment division, focuses on market innovations

Under the flagship of CCV GmbH, the company plans to bring its innovation into specific international markets

CCV Group B.V. has announced that all of its international business activities will now be consolidated and run within its Germany-based division - CCV GmbH. CCV GmbH will carry out the activities of the former CCV Deutschland GmbH and CCV Easy, a ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Europe to dominate open banking implementation...
26.05.2020   #mobile payment #payment systems

Europe to dominate open banking implementation

Instant messaging users to reach 4.3 billion in 2020, as new payment services emerge

A new study from Juniper Research found that the number of instant messaging users will reach 4.3 billion in 2020, rising from 3.9 billion in 2019. This is a growth of 9 percent year-on-year, largely driven by an increased need for remote ...

Thumbnail-Photo: “Dear shopping cart, please show me the way!“...
06.07.2020   #self-checkout systems #scanner

“Dear shopping cart, please show me the way!“

Shopping Cart 2.0 – gimmick or idea with intrinsic value?

Not all shopping carts are the same... far from it! Digitization and automation also put their stamp on this aspect of the retail sector. What’s usually a plain, large basket on wheels that makes it easier for shoppers to transport products ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Automated delivery services sprang up during China’s Covid-19 lockdown...
03.06.2020   #coronavirus #delivery

Automated delivery services sprang up during China’s Covid-19 lockdown

Retail technologies at Smart Retail Expo (SRE 2020)

In response to the Covid-19 outbreak, China’s retail giants JD.com and Meituan both deployed their smart deliver robots/vehicles in heavily locked down cities, such as Wuhan and Beijing. Insiders believe automated delivery technology will be ...

Thumbnail-Photo: All knitted and sewn up: an online yarn retailer takes a stationary...
13.07.2020   #online trading #brick and mortar retail

All knitted and sewn up: an online yarn retailer takes a stationary foothold

iXtenso’s interview with Joachim Hansen, retail manager at Hobbii

It’s all about yarn at Hobbii. From now on, the Danish retailer does not just sell exclusively online but also in physical stores. Joachim Hansen describes how digitization and personal contact interact in the retail stores. ...

Thumbnail-Photo: POS TUNING tuned its pushfeed system
02.07.2020   #product presentation #product classification systems

POS TUNING tuned its pushfeed system

The supplier optimizes the compartment systems C60 and C90

Never change a running system?Who doesn't know this saying? Changing something well-tried always has something to do with risk. The danger that something suddenly doesn't run as well as before is always there. But standstill has never ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Quantity discount on the WIMIsys PT51!
05.08.2020   #POS systems #displays

Quantity discount on the WIMIsys PT51!

From now until September 30th: 10% discount on the WIMIsys PT51 POS System when purchased together with a Swissbit TSE solution

Are you looking for TSE compliant POS solution for your customers in bakery, restaurant or retail shop? ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Payment and retail - what happens after the crisis?...
09.07.2020   #brick and mortar retail #payment systems

Payment and retail - what happens after the crisis?

Interview with Christine Bauer from CCV

We ask Christine Bauer, Vice President International Sales of the payment service provider CCV, which has been firmly established in Germany for 25 years and internationally for 60 years.Mrs Bauer, CCV has been on the market for a very long time, ...

Supplier

Poindus HQ - Taiwan
Poindus HQ - Taiwan
5F., No.59, Ln. 77, Xing-Ai Rd.,Neihu Dist.
Taipei City 114
CCV GmbH
CCV GmbH
Gewerbering 1
84072 Au i.d.Hallertau
SALTO Systems GmbH
SALTO Systems GmbH
Schwelmer Str. 245
42389 Wuppertal
Apostore GmbH
Apostore GmbH
Uferstraße 10
45881 Gelsenkirchen
APG Cash Drawer
APG Cash Drawer
4 The Drove
BN9 0LA Newhaven
Adasys GmbH – a Poindus Company
Adasys GmbH – a Poindus Company
Max-Planck-Straße 10
70806 Kornwestheim
Reflexis Systems GmbH
Reflexis Systems GmbH
Kokkolastr. 5-7
40882 Ratingen
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Landgraben 75
24232 Schönkirchen
POS TUNING Udo Voßhenrich GmbH & Co KG
POS TUNING Udo Voßhenrich GmbH & Co KG
Am Zubringer 8
32107 Bad Salzuflen