Online purchasing by Australia’s older generation is rising according to new research from the Commonwealth Bank.
The pre-boomers, aged over 70 years, have indicated they will increase their online purchasing by 18 percent over the next 12 months, according to the new study. Baby boomers, 51 to 70 years old, are also expected to rise in their preference for online shopping (10 percent). In contrast, Gen Y (22 to 35 years) anticipates a five percent increase, the lowest growth rate of the generations.
While Australian retailers and shoppers agree that 25 percent of all purchases are currently made online, retailers are predicting a 24 percent increase in online sales over the next 12 months, compared to shoppers forecasting a mere nine percent rise in online shopping.
“The older generations will be a strong driver of online sales growth in the coming year, with purchases from pre-boomers expected to grow at twice the rate of the average Australian shopper, albeit from a low base,” explains Jerry Macey, national manager of retail at Commonwealth Bank. “Collectively, shoppers are also saying online sales overall could fall significantly short of retailers’ expectations.”
The study also found that retailers are focusing more on the importance of customer service with almost half (49 percent) investing in improving customer service skills and product knowledge among their staff. This is in line with shoppers’ needs, with over a third (34 percent) stating better quality and more knowledgeable staff can trigger a purchase.
“For multichannel retailers, it’s clear that price matching across channels is imperative to drive greater in-store sales. We are also seeing strong demand for technology to assist shoppers make in-store purchasing decisions, particularly to support self-directed shopping among the younger generations.
“Good quality service and product knowledge remains paramount for retailers, with many already investing to satisfy shoppers across all generations,” Macey added.
About the Retail Insights Report
The CommBank Retail Insights Report is an exclusive wide-ranging analysis, providing unique insights into the current trends and developments impacting the Australian retail industry. The report is now in its fifth edition, which researches generational attitudes to spending and compares retailers’ strategies with consumer demand. The research is based on quantitative surveys of two cohorts: (i) key decision makers from 506 small, medium and large Australian retail businesses and (ii) 1,531 Australian consumers with the data segmented across the generational groups.