The coronavirus pandemic has pushed millions of people to shop online as nonessential stores have remained shuttered for months. In fact, more than 204 million consumers age 14 and older will make an online purchase during COVID-19, according to an updated digital buyer forecast from eMarketer.
Two-thirds of this estimate is made up of consumers who are 45 and older, the market research company reported Monday. And factoring in the current pandemic, eMarketer’s forecast expects a 5.8 percent increase in digital purchases among this demographic for 2020, which is equivalent to nearly five million new online shoppers.
Before the pandemic, in 2019, consumers age 45 and older only made up 5.1 percent of online shoppers.
The spike in the number of online orders for this group is likely due to the higher risk of potential coronavirus infections and/or complications that are associated with older age brackets, eMarketer suggested, meaning that contactless shopping is being used out of precaution.
Interestingly, eMarketer’s forecast also estimates that the percentage of consumers age 45 and older who shop online will go down by 2021 to 2.9 percent and will continue to decline in 2022 (2.8 percent) and 2023 (2.7 percent).
Conversely, the marketing firm cited a GlobalWebIndex study that found 31 percent of U.S. consumers between the ages of 16 and 64 believe they will shop online more often after the pandemic ends. Additionally, the study found that 30 percent of Americans intend to shop in stores less frequently post-coronavirus.