Baby Boomers Think Global, Buy Local

People aged 50 to 64 years old are making purchases from Australian-based retailers 71 percent of the time, according to the recent MasterCard Worldwide Survey on Online Shopping Behaviour.

The research also shows how age has the greatest influence on internet shopping habits, and the gap appears to be ever-widening.

When asked why these shoppers chose to purchase online from Australian retailers;

  • 40% responded that they believed it was faster
  • 33% cited convenience
  • 23% percent believed it is cheaper to purchase locally

MasterCard found that 42 percent of all online purchases made by 18-24 year old consumers were purchased through international sites. Conversely, the most active shopping age group were Australians aged 45-49, with 83 percent using the internet for shopping in the past three months. Some shoppers aged 50-64 years old have bought up to five products online in the same time period.

Andrew Cartwright, MasterCard Australia Country Manager, said that the differences in behaviour between generations appear to be growing, with a clear desire exhibited by older consumers to support Australian trade.

“While the rise of e-commerce can sometimes create disruptions and challenges for the local retail sector, it also presents lucrative opportunities for local outlets to harness a growing desire to buy Australian whilst online,” Cartwright said in a press release.

Online purchases by baby boomers as well as Generation X appear to be on the rise, highlighting the need for retailers to have user-friendly, secure checkouts that promote speedy transactions. Developing trust is even more crucial when serving these age groups.

“More and more, shoppers are rewarding local stores who invest in and update their online presence. Presenting an innovative and fun experience is becoming a vital tactic for those wishing to gain a loyal customer base,” said Cartwright.

MasterCard’s findings lend weight to predictions that online spending will continue to increase in the coming years, as more older  consumers become au fait with this new avenue for shopping. However, it doesn’t lend credibility to the NRA’s view that Australian retail is suffering as sales are going to international retailers.

In this case, we see that even the less tech-savvy generations of Australians are blazing new trails in shopping trends, while many retailers are left trying to catch up.

One thought on “Baby Boomers Think Global, Buy Local

  1. The 18 – 24 your old demographics are less likely to have been through the types of downsizing and outsourcing that their parents or some of the baby boomer individuals might have experienced. It can provide a whole new perspective on supporting local businesses when you might have experienced that impact. If we don’t support local businesses and produces we will lose them and be more reliant on the whims of overseas providers.

    So I believe what is seen in the MasterCard survey might be based on wider experience and not online shopping trends.

    It does surprise me that businesses in Australia want the benefits of capturing the local market but don’t support local suppliers themselves.



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