Gen X and baby boomers present a huge opportunity for online retailers
The conventional wisdom is that teens and millennials drive e-commerce trends. In actuality, a disproportionate share of middle-aged consumers are shopping online.
- 23% of online shoppers fall between the ages of 35 and 44, while only 18% of the US population is that age.
- 24% of online shoppers are between the ages of 45 to 54, even though less than 20% of the US population falls between those ages.
In a recent report, BI Intelligence breaks down the demographics of US online and mobile shoppers by gender, age, income, and education, and takes a look at what they're shopping for, and how their behaviors differ. It's important for retailers to know who their potential customers are online in order to market to them effectively.
Here are the surprising facts about how e-commerce and mobile commerce habits differ across age brackets:
- 60% of teens' spending goes to clothes, food, personal care, and shoes.
- Generation Z, those aged 18 to 24, spend the greatest percentage of their income online, about 9%. But Generation Z has far less money to spend compared to older generations, and spends less money overall online than any other generation except those older than 65.
- Millennials, those consumers aged 18 to 34, remain the key age demographic for online commerce, spending more money online in a given year than any other age group. These consumers spend around $2,000 annually on e-commerce, despite having lower incomes than older adults.
- But older adults, particularly Gen X shoppers, need to be taken into account, because of their large numbers and higher incomes. Those aged 35 to 44 are overrepresented in the online shopper population and they spend about $1,930 annually online, just $70 less than the millennial cohort.
- It also may come as a surprise that boomers and seniors have also adopted mobile commerce. One in four mobile shoppers in the US is over the age of 55. That's about even with their share of the overall US population.
In full, the report:
- Examines e-commerce behavior by generation
- Indexes e-commerce spending by age group against the amount of time a given demographic spends online.
- Breaks down online spending habits of millennials and teens, including the brands and products they shop for.
- Examines the factors behind what drives online purchases among millennials.
- Identifies Gen X, boomer, and older consumers' online spending tendencies.
- Looks at how education and income influence e-commerce spending.
To access the full report from BI Intelligence, sign up for a 14-day trial here. Members also gain access to new in-depth reports, hundreds of charts and datasets, as well as daily newsletters on the digital industry.
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