New research based on Saga Platinum credit card spend shows that on-line purchases by the over-50s are up by a quarter (25%) since 2010 and now account for £1 in every £8 spent on the card, compared to £1 in every £13 only two years ago. The biggest increases are for buying entertainment on-line.
Older people are using new technology and are keen online shoppers. More than a quarter (27%) of the nation's over 50s say they own a smart phone, 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 on-line transactions for music.
The traditional high street clothes shop will be comforted by the fact that clothes shopping is still something people prefer to do in-store, currently only 6% of the over 50s credit card transactions for clothes have been online. However, the survey is not good news for high street bookshops as Amazon has become a popular site for the over 50s buying books. On-line spend for books has nearly doubled since 2010. The trend in book purchases is little and often with people buying a book at a time rather than a selection.
Over 50s also buy concert tickets on-line and have taken to on-line dating sites as a way of making new friendships - showing that older people like their children and grandchildren also use the web to enhance their social interactions. Indeed, Saga Zone, the Facebook for the over 50s has seen a 21% increase in subscribers.
The table below shows the change in online entertainment spend among the over 50s:
Roger Ramsden, Chief Executive, Saga Services commented: "Today's over 50s embrace new technology and are not fearful of it - they are savvy and confident shoppers on-line and enjoy the convenience and ability to shop around at the click of a mouse, and when they use their Saga Platinum credit card they can do so safe in the knowledge that their transactions are safe and sound."
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