At least four out of five Dutch elderly people regularly shop online. For most of them, convenience is the main reason to place online orders. However, the elderly often encounter obstacles. By making online stores more accessible, these obstacles are reduced.
According to previous research in 2018, only 45 percent of elderly people in the Netherlands shopped online. Now, that amount has risen to 80 percent. This is according to a poll among members and followers of the Dutch elderly association ANBO, held by the Accessibility Foundation.
“That four out of five elderly people shop online is a really positive result. But we are also curious about the situation with the 20 percent who do not”, says Anouk Butterlin, project leader at the Accessibility Foundation. The foundation is planning to start a follow-up research project soon.
Accessibility Act in 2025
The results of this research are also important for online shops. “In 2025, the new European Accessibility Act comes into effect. Online stores are required to meet the accessibility requirements. These requirements will make online shops accessible to everyone.”
73% want to see and try out products first
The 20 percent who do not shop online had multiple reasons for this. Up to 73 percent of them said that they want to see and try out a product before ordering it. A smaller group (42 percent) said that returning products is a hassle.
‘The elderly often want to support local businesses.’
Others said that they want to support local businesses. Sustainability was also a reason not to shop online, as parcel deliverers have a large carbon footprint.
60% shop online because of convenience
On the other hand, the elderly who do shop online said they do so out of convenience (60 percent). Additionally, at least 42 percent place online orders because some products are only available online.
Out of the products that are ordered online, clothing, shoes and accessories are the most popular (63 percent). This category is followed by books (44 percent) and electronics (35 percent).uy
‘Only 21% of seniors buy groceries online’
Groceries are not often ordered online by this age group. Only 21 percent of respondents sometimes buy food online. Up to 37 percent even said that they will never order groceries online. “It is not surprising that the elderly prefer to go to local supermarket. For most of them, it is a way to get some physical exercise”, said Anneke Sipkens, CEO at ANBO.
Obstacles during online shopping
Although 64 percent of seniors say that they are successful in placing online orders, they often encounter obstacles. Online stores often use unclear language. Sometimes product cannot be found. The respondents also noted that the mandatory create of an account is an obstacle that makes online shopping more difficult.