Online Shopping Gains Popularity Among the Elderly

Aug 17, 2022



Holland natives above 60 years old have discovered online shopping advantages. This article from E-Commerce News Europe shows us some statistics that portray an interesting development: baby boomers are adapting to different types of online shopping. This shift in buyer behavior could be an indication of new opportunities for Amazon sellers and E-Commerce entrepreneurs.

Accessibility Act of 2025 and the Impact on E-Commerce

Starting June 28, 2025, manufacturers will be under strict orders to comply with the Accessibility Act:

The Directive will ensure that persons with disabilities (as well as many older persons) will benefit from a greater supply of accessible products and services, and will thus be able to participate more actively in society and the economy. 

This is good news for the elderly of the Netherlands, if not Europe as a whole, because there will be a conscious movement from brands and manufacturers to make online shops more accessible to everyone.

Although 4 out of 5 Dutch senior citizens purchase online, they still experience barriers to entry, so the Accessibility Act should increase the adoption of technology. Simply put, if we make E-Commerce easier for senior citizens to absorb and understand, the remaining 20% of this niche market may be convinced to do their shopping online.

What Does This Mean for Amazon Sellers?

A poll taken among members and followers of the Dutch elderly association, ANBO, and held by the Accessibility Foundation, discovered that 80% of Dutch elderly shop online – a big jump from 45% in 2018. Online shopping became a habit due to Covid-19 – it was, after all, the safest route for the immunocompromised and senior citizens that were bigger targets of the virus. It’s good to hear that this niche market has gotten more comfortable with E-Commerce. 80% is a large chunk of the population – almost all senior citizens shop online.

But what about the 20% that does not?

  • 73% of these people said they prefer buying local products as opposed to international products
  • 42% meanwhile did not like online shopping because returning products is a hassle
  • Another percentage of the elderly were concerned about the carbon footprint – online shopping is not as environmentally friendly, so they were more keen to purchase through traditional means to safeguard Mother Earth

If you plan to convert this 20%, it would be wise to promote Dutch products, facilitate returns and make the experience more accessible, and offer biodegradable packaging.

Which Categories Are Doing the Best?

The study gave interesting statistics:

  • 63% of the elderly purchased clothing, shoes, and accessories online
  • 44% purchased books online
  • 35% purchased electronics online
  • 21% said they sometimes purchased groceries online
    • In fact, 37% said they will never purchase groceries online. Anneke Sipkens, CEO at ANBO, says this statistic is not surprising; grocery runs might be the only way that senior citizens can get some physical exercise.

Does your product fall in any of these categories?

Perhaps the Dutch elderly is such a niche market for you, that the idea of catering to this demographic feels counterproductive. Remember though that conversions affect your rank; if your efforts in this niche market do so well because the target market is already a consumer of your products, then Amazon will definitely take notice. “It’s a good niche to tap,” offers Jana.

“Sales are not huge,” she admits. “But it’s a healthy market if you sell products for seniors.”

A Small Market With So Much Promise

If you sell electronics, clothing, accessories, and shoes that the elderly would find value in, strike while the iron is hot. See about penetrating the Dutch market. Just remember, the elderly are prone to experiencing technical difficulties that stand in the way of the adoption of E-Commerce. The more accessible you can make your listing, through localized language and proper keyword usage, the higher the probability that this healthy niche market will become loyal to you.

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