Over half of over 65s now shop online – ONS

13/08/2019

Older people are increasingly chosing ecommerce over the high street, with more than half of British adults aged 65 and over now shoppuing online, according to new research.

Over half of over 65s now shop online – ONS

The figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed 82% of all British adults bought goods or services online this year, an increase of 5% on 2018.

The figures, detailing household and individual internet use in Great Britain, said 87% of all adults now used the internet daily or almost every day.

This year marks the first time that more than half (54%) of those aged 65 and over – traditionally the age range which uses the internet the least frequently – said they had shopped online.
The ONS figures said 93% of British households now had access to the internet, up 3% on last year and a rise of 23% in the last decade.

Of the 7% of households without internet access, nearly two-thirds said they felt they did not need it, and 33% cited privacy and security concerns as one of the reasons they did not need access.

Key findings:

  • Four in five Britons make online purchases, with 44% spending £100-£499 over three months

  • Fifty-four percent of people aged 65 and over said they shopped online.

  • Fifty-four percent of people aged 65 and over said they shopped online
  • Shoppers from the 25-34 age group most commonly made 11 or more purchases in the three-month survey period. The over-65s were not such prolific online spenders, typically making three to five purchases.

    Among all shoppers, 44% spent between £100 and £499 online over the three months. The highest-spending 15% made online purchases of more than £1,000, while 9% limited their spending to less than £50.

    The most popular products purchased online were clothes or sports goods, followed by household goods and tickets for events.

    The rise in online shopping highlights the pressure that continues to mount on Britain’s high streets. New figures show the number of empty shops in town centres has hit a four-year high, with more than one in 10 stores now vacant, according to the British Retail Consortium. Footfall – shopper numbers – also fell by 1.9% last month, the worst July in seven years.

    The ONS said 93% of households in the UK now had internet access, up from 70% a decade ago. However, not everyone is convinced of the merits of the digital revolution. Among the 7% of households without internet access, 61% said they felt they did not need it.

    A third cited privacy or security concerns for not going online, a dramatic increase on the 7% who raised the issue when the ONS last asked the survey question.

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