Baby boomers or boomers are probably the demographic least likely to adopt eCommerce technology currently. However, the pandemic has forced many. In the same way traditional businesses have been forced to go digital. Baby boomers are those over the age of 55 to about 75 years old. This demographic is a potential goldmine for all digital businesses primarily because they generally have the most disposable income in society. Businesses that can accommodate the online needs of these customers stand to be very profitable indeed. Digital baby boomers have different expectations than younger groups when purchasing online from international brands.
In some ways these expectations are simple. The age between 57-75 need fundamental best practices to be in place on an eCommerce site. They need the basic things done properly. This includes the use of local language and currency. A straightforward and clear refund policy on the site is also important. According to Global Voices 2021: Cross-Border Shopper Insights, customers over 40 are more particular about these things than younger customers. In the study, during international eCommerce transactions, 43% of baby boomers prefer eCommerce sites to display information in their own local language. This is a contrast to 31% of shoppers under the age of 40. Baby boomers also prefer to see prices in their own local currency at 39% compared to 31% of shoppers under the age of 40.
Furthermore 65% of online baby boomer shoppers have previously used bank cards for cross-border purchases. Yet only 3% have ever used a buy now, pay later option (Afterpay) as opposed to a much higher number from younger customers. This might be in line with the perception that the generation is more financially prudent although they are wealthier. A significant 12% of ages 40 and under have used buy now, pay later options in online transactions.
Additionally, 42% of boomers indicate low prices are the main consideration factor when shopping online. Perhaps there is still a hesitation among some to risk making big ticket purchases online. For younger customers the number is 32%. Only 27% of boomer and young customers indicate satisfaction with previous shopping experience was a major concern.
The big opportunity here is particularly with the economic status of this demographic. The boomer demographic is skewed toward female and almost 60% are between the ages of 55 and 64 while 43% are over 65. They are also almost 200% more likely than the average US shoppers to be in retirement. For the unretired, they are 62% more likely than the average citizen to be working remotely, even prior to the pandemic. Furthermore, almost 90% have no children below the age of 18. In addition, in the US 28% have yearly household income in excess of $100,000. Significantly, 80% of baby boomers have at least a college education which is associated with a higher income bracket.
In conclusion, this demographic tends to have more free time plus high disposable income. These facts present a massive opportunity for marketers and the entire eCommerce industry. Baby boomers generally are in a more financially comfortable position with less debts. UX designers and marketers often are focused on online native younger customers for obvious reasons. Perhaps they are missing a potential gold mine in the baby boomer generation. The pandemic has made it easier to convince baby boomers of the benefits of online shopping. They will certainly be more online native in the coming years. Businesses that pay attention to this demographic will likely be rewarded greatly.