It seems the rise of ecommerce is not being driven by Millennials or even Generation Zers but by the over 55s, with a resounding 95% of them shopping online for fashion, groceries and beauty products.
New research from digital strategy and creative agency Good Rebels dubs them The Zen Generation, or Zenners, thanks to their slower, more relaxed approach to digital.
They are in an age group that often feels invisible and forgotten by marketing and advertising campaigns, according to the research, which Good Rebels insists demonstrates an opportunity gap for brands as Zenners have the highest purchasing power out of any age group.
Good Rebels surveyed 1,500 shoppers aged 55+ across the UK, Spain and Mexico, and also conducted a number of ‘deep-dive’ interviews. This allowed the agency to not only compare behaviour across the markets but also evaluate each one individually.
Although they are not digital natives, the Zenners are the first generation to make widespread use of, and feel at ease with, tech. In fact, 86% of participants have no difficulty surfing online, and 76% consider online purchases to be easy or very easy.
Besides feeling at ease with online shopping, British Zenners are also very present on social media. 71% of participants said they are users of Facebook, while 20% are on Twitter, 19% are on Instagram and 14% have a Pinterest account.
The data also reveals that while most Zenners in the UK (64%) prefer laptops or computers, mobiles phones are the preferred option in Spain (40%) and Mexico (52%). Only 14% of UK participants prefer to use their phone for online shopping.
What UK participants value the most about online shopping is convenience (72%), price (57%) and the fact that they can do it from home (52%). When deciding which brand to shop with, for 72% of respondents, trust is crucial. Zenners choose the same brands they buy instore when buying online. The data also revealed that they take into account the recommendations of their acquaintances (33%) and the offers they receive by email (22%).
The research also identifies the products Zenners buy online, proving that their experience of ecommerce is varied. The top three sectors are fashion (45%), groceries (38%) and health and beauty products (34%).
In order to succeed, brands need to ensure they are targeting different demographics via their marketing and advertising activity, the study concludes.
Good Rebels senior insights manager Taru Inari Mäkinen said: “Our research has allowed us to analyse this unknown generation and unveil its secrets. Zenners were between 40 and 50 years old at the dawn of the digital revolution and were, therefore, the first ones to use computers and mobile phones at work.
“Their experiences, halfway between digital and analogue, have made this generation mature and reflective, with distinct online behaviours. Through our research it has been interesting to identify and bust the myths associated with their online behaviours.”
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