Online shopping isn’t something new anymore. In fact, it goes as far back as the 1980s where the first major retailers started experimenting with online shopping. As online shopping continues to soar, some may wonder who exactly buys online. Does everyone shop online? Is it just the younger generations? Are people only shopping online in certain countries? Having this information can hugely influence how businesses could adapt their ecommerce strategies to target a larger share of the market than they perhaps originally anticipated. In this article, we aim to open up the eyes of businesses to discover who actually buys online.

Do all generations shop online?

A common misconception is that the majority of online shoppers are part of Gen Z. In fact, it might surprise you to know that 73% of Gen Z don’t mind visiting traditional brick and mortar stores. Whilst marketers have been targeting Gen Z for online shopping, many businesses have forgotten the importance of positioning their ecommerce experience for the older generations. The older generation is a key market businesses can focus on, especially with the recent spike in over 65s who are ditching the high street in favour of online shopping.

In 2008, only 16% of over 65s used online shopping. This year that figure has soared to just under 50%. With a range of products and services being bought by older generations online, retailers need to adapt their ecommerce experience to not only target the younger generations, but also the increasing number of over 65s who shop online today.

Which countries have the largest ecommerce markets?

Ever thought about selling in other countries? Indeed there are often barriers to moving goods overseas, but if you do have a product or service that can be sold overseas and you choose not to offer it internationally then you may be missing out on a large share of the market.

In 2017, the UK represented the 3rd biggest ecommerce market in the world. However, there is still a big chunk of the market that retailers can tap into if they offer their products and services internationally. To put the that into perspective, the UK accumulated online sales of $99bn, whilst China (who ranked number 1) accumulated a staggering $672bn. Some of the other countries to hit the top 10 list include Brazil, Russia and Canada. The three combined represent ecommerce sales of $69bn.

When are your customers shopping & what are they doing while they shop?

So, you know your target market, you’ve profiled your customers and now you’re ready to advertise and attract shoppers into visiting and converting on your website. The only problem left is working out the optimal time your target market are actively browsing online. Having the ability to know when shoppers are likely to buy is key to any business’ market strategy, and thanks to big data there’s information available that highlights when we, as consumers, are most likely to be shopping online.

According to Forbes, the most common time shoppers will be active is actually whilst they’re at work, with 57.2% of survey respondents revealing they shop online at work. And for reference, the least common time when consumers are shopping online is when they’re walking the dog!

Hopefully this article has given you an insight into who actually buys online. Businesses need to start taking the diversity of ecommerce seriously if they want to attract a larger share of the market. It is also worth remembering that the market is ever changing and who buys online now may well change in the future.