The changes to retail this year have been paramount, and they're likely never to return to what once was. Australians in isolation who have never shopped online were left with no option but to give it a go, and have since adapted to the online space. Enter the older shopper - have they been left in the dark?
According to the sixth Trajectory Report by Power Retail, 88 percent of shoppers are more comfortable or as comfortable shopping online in 2020. And for those who rarely shopped online in 2019, a whopping 68 percent now feel more comfortable in the e-commerce space.
What has this got to do with ageism? While online retailers are constantly advised about reaching the Next Gen shopper, the pandemic has proven that we have a long way to go to keep the purchase process easy to understand for those who have never shopped online before – the older shopper.
As mentioned in ana article earlier in the year, avoiding the older shopper isn’t just a misstep, it can be detrimental to your brand.
Shoppers born between 1945-1965 are often affluent, well-educated and understand tech far better than some retailers and advertisers may believe. Online shoppers under the age of 34 account for 39 percent of the market – 16 percent are aged above 55.
Since the article was shared, the pandemic has blown the demographic of shoppers out of the water. Those who had never used e-commerce before had to rely on it for their essential purchases. As retail stores shut in Melbourne for more than 110 days, the need for e-commerce was obvious.
So, how can retailers make sure they’re making the purchase process as functional, frictionless and easy for the older shopper? We’ve asked a series of e-commerce and digital marketing experts for their advice.
How can retailers make the purchase process easier for older shoppers?
Sarah Xu, Chief Development Officer of Aurous and the Board Chair of the Queensland Association for Digital Inclusion: “The things that make shopping easier for seniors are actually many of the things that make it easier for everyone, for example making sure your site is well organised and easy to read, lots of clear pictures of the items for sale, and that buttons are text rather than images so that your site is screen reader compatible. Often confidence is an issue for seniors who are new to internet shopping so it helps if you can make all the info they would expect from an in-person shopping experience easy to find and limit surprises – keep it simple and fuss-free, make sure shipping is clear and the costs are easy to find out before getting to the cart stage.”
Sabri Suby, Founder and Head of Growth at King Kong: “I like to treat every online shopper like they are my Grandmother, who is 91 years old… and I firmly believe that a lot can be gleaned from this method.
- Go for big font sizes (18+)
- Use detailed, unique product descriptions
- Check your competitors level of detail, and ensure you are on par
- Go granular on payment options, details, costs and delivery times
- Use universal language and colours for key actions, such as green for ‘go, purchase’ and red for ‘cancel purchase’
“Approach your website like a bricks and mortar store. Pretend that you have built it for your grandmother… who is 91 years of age. Retailers should focus on investing as much time and energy in the online presence and shopping experience as their e-commerce site.”
In the Trajectory report from Power Retail, it was reported that 62 percent of shoppers would prefer to purchase online even if they could get the exact same product for the exact same price in-store. That’s huge. Those who wouldn’t normally have shopped online, but because of the pandemic, have now become online shoppers, further accelerating the uptake of the shift to digital.
We’re entering a phase of untapped potential. Why leave part of your audience in the dark, when you can highlight the best parts of e-commerce? It’s time to start understanding the older shopper – what does your brand have to lose?
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