48% of pensioners now shop online

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Nearly half of pensioners in the UK regularly buy items online despite remaining the least likely age demographic to do so, according to new research.

Data released from the Office of National Statistics has revealed that the percentage of UK residents over 65 who purchase goods over the internet, or “silver surfers”, has increased form 16 per cent to 48 per cent over the last decade.

Despite historically being known as the demographic which props up the high street, the over 65 demographic saw the highest increase in internet usage since 2008.

Forty-two per cent of pensioners said they used tablets to shop online, while 36 per cent said they used mobile phones and laptops.

“Online shopping may have been a young person’s game in the past, but now its mainstream among older generations,” Mintel’s retail analyst Nick Carroll said.

“There is a lot less fear of problems like security, and it makes sense for older shoppers because of the delivery aspect.

Amplience consulting director Chris Haines added: “Many retailers with an older customer base have traditionally felt safe that physical stores and traditional engagement techniques would be enough.

“These people aren’t digital natives, yet they are quickly adopting the convenience of purchasing goods online.

“That makes it even more important for retailers to be present across channels to foster and sustain brand loyalty.”

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