E-Commerce: New oppor­tunities for the elderly
E-Commerce: New oppor­tunities for the elderly

The pandemic was a drastic event. It has had a fundamental effect on our lives and has accelerated developments that were already on the horizon. Like the online behavior of the older generations.

Marcus Ackermann, Member of the Executive Board, Multichannel Distance Selling at the Otto Group
Marcus Ackermann, Member of the Executive Board, Multichannel Distance Selling at the Otto Group
Marcus Ackermann, Member of the Executive Board, Multichannel Distance Selling at the Otto Group

During the lockdowns, pure brick-and-mortar companies often came under massive pressure, while online and multichannel concepts were often able to successfully stem the economic downturn or even record revenue gains. This has also been true of the Otto Group’s business model. For example, e-commerce was able to demonstrate explicitly during the lockdown the advantages that buying with clicks brings, from – secure – delivery to the door to the broad availability of offers across various product groups to the ability to plan a purchase in the ever more hectic pace of daily life. Online shopping is not only becoming increasingly the norm during the pandemic, it has also long proved itself in helping to ensure basic survival.

This is clear from figures published by the German E-Commerce and Mail Order Association (bevh) in January 2021, which show that sales of German e-commerce in 2020 increased by 14.6 percent compared to 2019 and by another 19 percent in 2021 compared to 2020.

19

percent revenue increase in German e-commerce in 2021 compared to 2020

According to bevh, almost every third online buyer in 2020 was older than 60.

Lieferung
Lieferung

One thing that is particularly interesting in my view: According to bevh, almost every third online buyer in 2020 was older than 60. The year before, the revenue portion of customers in this age group was still below a fourth.

This development pleases me for two main reasons: For one thing – and I do not want to hide this – this target group offers us great potential for further business growth. We are already directly addressing the older generations through many of our business models, such as in the Witt Group, as we have recognized the opportunities for our various digital business models for quite some time. For another – and this is also the main reason why I believe in the sustainability of this development: It is particularly the elderly who can be benefit greatly from online assistance: through the option of virtually consulting a doctor, scheduling appointments with authorities with the click of a mouse, not only speaking more regularly with their grandchildren but also seeing them – and especially with shopping.

Best Ager
Best Ager

My hypothesis: If trade increasingly manages to generate additional trust in the security of orders and deliveries while still providing offers that are better oriented to demands and targets, both sides can profit: not only the retailers themselves, but especially the new online customers from the “Best Ager” and elderly segments.


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