Baby Boomers Warm to Cross-border Online Shopping

New consumer research from eShopWorld shows that while Baby Boomers are embracing cross-border online shopping, their reasons differ as compared to other generations.

The report, titled “Global Voices 2021: Cross-Border Shopper Insights,” revealed that Baby Boomers — those consumers between the ages of 57 and 75 — prefer sites that are in their local language and currency.

“Unlike Gen Zers, who might prioritize the latest buy now, pay later payment options when shopping online internationally, Baby Boomers tend to look for fundamental best practices like the use of local language and currency and clear refund policies,” the company said in a statement.

EShopWorld polled 22,000 consumers in 11 countries. Authors of the report said when shopping cross-border, 43 percent of Baby Boomers noted that they “prefer websites to present information in their own local language (versus 31 percent of shoppers 40 and under) and 39 percent prefer to be shown prices in their own local currency (versus 31 percent of younger shoppers).

The survey also showed that 42 percent of Baby Boomers cited lower cost as a primary factor when shopping cross-border, which compares to 32 percent of respondents in younger age demographic groups. “Only 27 percent of shoppers in both the Boomer and 40-and-under age groups said that satisfaction with a previous shopping experience was a major concern,” the report stated.

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Tommy Kelly, chief executive officer of eShopWorld, said the data showed that Baby Boomers “are participating in international e-commerce more than ever, but that they value different aspects of the cross-border shopping experience than their younger counterparts do.”

“Shoppers in the 57 to 75 age group naturally gravitate to online marketplaces, so retailers and brands seeking to reach them directly need to make sure their cross-border shopping experience is presenting information in their own local language and currency,” Kelly explained. “Older shoppers also don’t care as much about customer reviews as Gen Zers and Millennials do and they prioritize lower costs and clear refund policies.”

The CEO said retailers and brands that are aware of “these generational differences and offering Boomers a cross-border e-commerce experience that caters to their specific preferences and needs ensure brands can create long-lasting, fruitful relationships that might be lost if they allow marketplaces to engage these loyal shoppers.”

Other findings in the report include that Baby Boomers are most comfortable shopping with credit or debit cards. Sixty-five percent of global e-commerce shoppers who are Baby Boomers “have used credit or debit cards to make cross-border purchases,” the report noted, adding that only 3 percent of Baby Boomers “have taken advantage of buy now, pay later options, versus 12 percent of shoppers ages 40 and under.”

In regard to top product categories, 72 percent of Boomers shopped for apparel in the past six months, which compares to 91 percent of cross-border shoppers who are under 40. Apparel was the top category among all groups surveyed, the company said.

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