Which South African generation shops online the most & who gets their money

In today’s rapidly accelerating digital world, online shopping is increasingly becoming more of a habit than a hobby (and an expensive one at that). And while a lot of customers still prefer the traditional in-store experience, who’s increasingly choosing to trade their shopping trolleys in for digital shopping carts? 


Our recent 2017 study into generational lifestyles within South Africa reveals that Generation X (those born between 1965 and 1977) choose to shop online, rather than in physical stores, more than any other generation. Further to these findings, data recorded in our June 2016 eCommerce Industry Report show that there’s an even split between genders in the online shopping sphere, and that almost a third of all online shoppers are Generation X. But why are they choosing to shop from the comfort of their couches and not over the counter?


The data suggests that this preference towards online shopping could be a result of lifestyle habits such as dedicated working hours per week. While our study reveals that Generation X prefer to shop online, almost three-quarters of those surveyed within the age group identify as working full-time. This is similarly mirrored by the data recorded in our June 2016 eCommerce Industry Report, which reveals that almost two thirds of all online shoppers surveyed in South Africa work full-time hours each week. Further to that, this same study states that the greatest motivation for shopping online is convenience. But what are these time-constrained shoppers spending their money on?


The 2017 study revealed that items most frequently purchased online by Generation X include books, hotel reservations, tickets for shows or sports events and travel tickets. These four items also reflect the most purchased online items recorded in the previous year’s eCommerce Industry Report, supporting the idea that Generation X are more inclined to shop online and influence household purchase decisions than any other age group. But where are they splashing their cash?


According to the data collected in the 2017 study, Generation X spend more time on auction and classified advertising websites than any other generation. The same report states that, along with Millennials, Generation X more frequently shop for leisure, even though Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) have on average the highest reported combined household income. 


While Generation X collectively shop online more than any other generation, the data collected in the 2017 study also reveals that they are more worried about debt and stressed about managing their money than any other age group, while also being the generation who identifies the least with trying to save money every month. This suggests that ultimately while shoppers aged between 40 and 52 more frequently shop online, in particularly for leisure items, they’re the most concerned about their spending and long-term debt.

Want to see exact figures and findings about online shoppers in South Africa? Download our June 2016 eCommerce Industry Report here.

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