Online grocery retailers need to build food-shopping experiences for all ages
Jan 29, 2021
Shoppers aged 65+ don’t have the greatest reputation for embracing ecommerce – it’s often seen as the purview of the young. At least, it was until Covid-19 arrived. Now, as Abha Bhattarai at Bloomberg noted this week, older shoppers are embracing online grocery services like never before. This means that retailers have a unique opportunity. Northfork Co-founder Erik Wallin explains:
“Online grocery shoppers in all age groups have boomed as a result of the pandemic. In particular, many older consumers have trialled ecommerce services for the first time and been impressed by their convenience. Grocery retailers now need to invest in building the right food-shopping experience, both on and off platform, to serve every age group.”
Figures released by Waitrose speak to this surge in older online shoppers. The firm reported that the number of regular online shoppers aged 55+ trebled in 2020, going from 8% in 2019 to 23% in 2020. The number of 35-44-year-old online shoppers also shot up, from 16% to 32%.
The findings are mirrored around the world. In the US, spending by consumers aged 65+ between January and October 2020 was up by 49% compared to a year earlier, according to NPD Group. Frequency of purchases was also up, by 40%.
What is particularly interesting is the long-term nature of these changes, as Northfork’s VP of Growth, Mark Rogers, points out:
“Waitrose’s research found that two thirds of shoppers now prefer shopping online to shopping in-store. Grocery retailers need to capitalise on this, keeping online customers engaged and loyal even once the pandemic has passed. They need to capture the online grocery opportunity for every age group, including older shoppers, if they want to stay relevant in the digital shopping space.”