5 min read

Actionable Insight: Baby Boomers Driving Scandinavian E-commerce

Published on 18 Dec 2023

Contributors

With 15+ years of experience in strategic marketing and communications roles, for Nets I focus on presenting e-commerce market insights in a way that is easy to understand and practical.

A Driving Force in E-commerce

Our second series of ecommerce insights about the Scandinavian online consumer zeroes in on the Baby Boomer generation and is now available for each of the Nordic markets: Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. In each country’s half year summary, we present an exploration of shopping habits, overall spending, and preferences for those born between 1946 and 1964 (currently ages 59-77.)

This group of senior consumers has strong purchasing power as it hops– and shops– from one online retailer to another. Understood now as a “power generation”, Scandinavian Baby Boomers are tech savvy and are certainly surfing the Internet— and spending money. In the first half of 2023 alone, 78.9% of Swedish Boomers report having shopped online, leading the Scandinavian pack— compared to their Danish (67.8%) and Norwegian (65.9%) neighbors.

Our research on this generation follows our Ecommerce Half Year Summaries for Sweden, Norway, and Denmark which more generally survey the ecommerce landscape in terms of overall spending and purchases in three main categories: physical goods, services, and travel. You can find an overview comparing and contrasting the Scandinavian e-consumer here, but the purpose of this series, focusing on Boomers, is to uncover a perhaps overlooked segment— and provide actionable insights to help merchants broaden their reach and boost their businesses.

Think Locally, Shop Locally

We uncover the fact that Scandinavian Baby Boomers similarly seek convenience when shopping online. Importantly, they all value making a local difference with their online spending. However, Swedes are the most vocal about this belief (83,6%) compared to neighbors in Denmark (77,3%) and Norway (65.9%).

Whereas they all state that their belief is based on the two top reasons of: “It feels good to support local/small businesses” and “I don’t want to support big, impersonal businesses like Amazon,” they differ on the third. Swedish Boomers emphasize “personal and familiar,” while Danes and Norwegians both select a variety of delivery options as being of importance. (Read more about the important of delivery options and returns here; you can rewatch the webinar in Swedish and Norwegian featuring Bring’s research (Swedish and Norwegian) here.

The best news about uncovering Boomers’ “local shopping obsession”? – these consumers are similarly NOT price-sensitive when considering that buying local can be more expensive than shopping at mega retailers and chains.

Merchants, use the research!

We now know that shopping locally is very important to Baby Boomers. The research also uncovers that they are also determined shoppers— they do not often return their online purchases, and if they do, they are smart enough to figure out how. Importantly, we discover the reasons they quit when shopping online, also known as abandoning their shopping cart. Here is a list of advice based on survey findings:

1- Emphasize that your business is local. Don’t forget to emphasize that you are locally founded, sourced, and run. And if you are a family run business, emphasize that, too!

2- Highlight your broad inventories. Make sure to highlight your wide assortment of goods, as having limited choice was one of the (minor) concerns expressed by all the Boomers in the Nordics.

3- Focus on communicating your website’s security. Scandinavian Boomers across all countries stated their top reason to abandon their shopping cart if a site does not feel credible or safe. In fact, many pay with credit cards because of this focus on security.

4- Ensure information on shipping and returns is clear. This is not a surprise to us that it is a concern. Research from Bring, a postal carrier throughout the Nordics discusses the negative effect of unclear, limited, or expensive shipping and return options at checkout. This concern ranks second for Norwegian Boomers.

5- Improve your delivery lead times. Swedish Boomers seem to be particularly impatient when it comes to waiting for their deliveries to arrive. Ensure that information on how long it takes for the consumer to receive his or her package is not only clear, but that delivery is speedy.

6- Add an option to collect items in person. Especially for Norwegian Boomers, having the choice to pick up items ordered online is important. This is actually a very modern way that consumers buy these days. Have a closer look at the more sophisticated customer journey, and the concept of “unified commerce” here, with downloadable report here.

7- Make sure your site is running smoothly. Nothing irritates Swedish and Danish Boomers more than a website running slowly or functioning poorly. As your main communication tool to sell your goods, it’s common sense that your website should be inviting— and that it is free from technical difficulties.

8- Keep the data requirements to a minimum. Danish Boomers especially state that having to fill in too much data at checkout is a reason to hop off the site and shutdown the phone or computer. Audit your checkout experience and evaluate if you are asking for only necessary information, for best sales results.

For more tips, read our previous article “The 6 worst e-commerce checkout mistakes— and how to fix them.

Download the Baby Boomer Insights

We’ve revealed that Baby Boomers in Scandinavia are indeed shopping online, and we know what they prefer to have— and avoid— during their online shopping journey. However, there is much more to learn in terms of what this influential group purchases and what they prioritize. The insight summaries go into detail about spending within the categories of physical goods, services, and travel and which of these are “king” (hint: it’s not goods.) The insight summaries also detail what types of products within each category are popular with this tech savvy group

Use the tips above and download the insight summaries on Baby Boomers to improve your operations, stay ahead of the competition, strengthen your brand identity, and much more.

Download the half year summary insights on Baby Boomers here:

Denmark (Danish)

Denmark (English)

Norway (Norwegian)

Norway (English)

Sweden (Swedish)

Sweden (English)

 

Each summary is based on results from surveys conducted by Kantar on behalf of Nets in the form of 50 weekly interviews among internet users in Sweden (1,732), Norway (1,727), and Denmark (1,669) from January until June 2023, respectively.

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CEO Parkett.no

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Per Erik Kirkaune

Marketing Manager at Norsk Bildelsenter

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