Online spending has experienced a boost among older people
Research based on Saga's Platinum credit card
shows that online purchases by the over-50s are up by a quarter since 2010 and now account for £1 in every £8 spent. This is compared to £1 in every £13 only two years ago, with the biggest increase showing among people buying entertainment online.
More and more older people are keen online shoppers and using new technology. More than a quarter of the nation's over 50s say they own a smartphone, iPad or other tablet computer, and it is the popularity of music downloads from sites such as iTunes that is the driving force behind the sevenfold increase in the number of online music transactions.
Traditional high street fashion retailers will be comforted by the fact that clothes shopping is still something people prefer to do in-store; currently only six per cent of the over 50s' credit card
transactions for clothes have been online. But the survey isn't good news for high street bookshops, with Amazon dominating over 50s' book purchases
. In fact, online spend on books has nearly doubled since 2010. The trend in book purchases is little and often, with people buying one book at a time, rather than a selection.
The over 50s also buy concert tickets online
and have taken to dating websites as a way of making new friendships. So just like their children and grandchildren, older people are embracing the web to enhance their social interactions. At Saga we can see this at close hand as Saga Zone
, our very own Facebook
for the over 50s, has seen a 21 per cent increase in subscribers.
Saga Services' chief executive Roger Ramsden says the research shows that today’s over 50s embrace new technology and are not fearful of it, adding: "They are savvy and confident shoppers online and enjoy the convenience and ability to shop around at the click of a mouse."