December 16, 2010, 2:22 PM

Two-thirds of online adults shop on the web

Pew research suggests that older baby boomers are the most avid online shoppers.

Lead Photo

Of the 79% of all U.S. adults who go online, 66% buy from e-retailers, according to new research from the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project. That suggests 52% of all U.S. adults are web shoppers.

Breaking the data on Internet users into generational categories shows that 69% of older baby boomers (ages 56-64) say they buy online, followed by 68% of so-called Millennials (ages 18-33), 66% of Generation Xers (ages 34-45), 64% of younger boomers (ages 45-55), 59% of the Silent generation (ages 65-73) and 57% of the G.I. generation (ages 74 and older). Teens, ages 12-17, were excluded from the adult calculation, but an earlier Pew survey indicates that 48% of them buy online.

Older boomers also outpace other generations in rating products and services. 40% of older online boomers say they rate products, services or people online, followed by 38% of the Silent generation. Less than a third—32%--of Millennials and Gen Xers rate products, services or people online. 32% also is the average across all adults who use the web.

Bidding at online auction sites such as eBay is more popular among younger generations, however. 31% of web-using Generation Xers participate in online auctions, followed by 28% of Millennials. 25% of baby boomers (45-64) participate in online auctions. The average across all adults is 26%.

Using e-mail is the most popular online activity among online adults. 90% or more of all adult age groups use it except for the G.I. generation, 88% of whose members use it. E-mail use drops significantly to 73% among teens. Pew says teens use social networks instead. “When teens do use e-mail, they tend to use it more in formal situations or when communicating with adults than to communicate with friends,” the report says.

comments powered by Disqus




From The IR Blog


Philip Masiello / E-Commerce

3 reasons retailers fall short in email and social marketing

Reason one: They’re constantly trying to sell their customer, rather than to help and engage ...


Rotem Gal / E-Commerce

7 surprising e-commerce trends for 2017

Consumers will engage with products and brands in new ways online in the year ahead.

Research Guides