Online shopping has certainly hit new levels over the past few years. This holiday season is no exception. Target made “black Friday” ad available digitally nearly a month before the big event and some deals were even available online before they were in the store. Many other retailers followed suit.
I’m a bit torn about the digitalization of shopping. I have fond memories of hitting the stores on black Friday, braving the cold temperatures, sorting through racks, standing in line, listening to the festive carols playing over the PA system. Now, with the click of a few buttons, you can get your holiday shopping done without having to put pants on.
If I’m feeling nostalgic about holiday shopping, what is the senior perspective? Seniors aren’t the biggest demographic of online shoppers in the world, but they are certainly making their mark. In a 2014 study 37% of seniors over 65 are shopping online, and almost 50% of the near-senior 50-64 year-old group are also buying online. Online shopping not only enables seniors to get in on some great deals, they also provide an easy way to shop for individuals who may find getting out of the house difficult. Chronic health conditions can make braving those holiday lines unappealing or in some cases, not possible. Retailers are taking notice. Amazon even created a site geared specifically to the 50+ crowd (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/17/amazons-seniors-new-store_n_3102030.html).
For seniors who do venture online during the holiday season, do your research on safe practices (PC Magazine has some great tips for shopping safely online -http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2373130,00.asp), stay to sites you know if you’re a first-timer, ask for help from tech-savvy friends/family or retailer’s sites when you need it and make it festive! Turn on that holiday music, break out the hot cocoa...even if you’re shopping in your pjs.