65-89 year olds love e-commerce

E-commerce has become a natural part of everyday life for people aged 65-89, according to a survey by Statistics Denmark. That means habits change, and so should your marketing plan if the older generation is part of your business's target audience. Read more below.

online shopping

How much do older people shop online

It has been a number of years since e-commerce became part of everyday life in Denmark. For many years, it has been more or less the preserve of those who have followed the technology and been quick to adapt to the digital world. That time is over. Our older members of society will no longer be content to shop in more traditional ways - they want to shop online.

According to new figures from Statistics Denmark, the biggest increase in online shoppers is in the 75-89 age group, where 65 % more will shop online in 2020 compared to 2016. The second largest increase is in the 65-74 age group, where the share of online shoppers has increased by 25 %:

Source: www.statistikbanken.dk/bebrit07.

So that picture you might have of your grandparents holding a Nokia 3310 looks like it could do with a makeover. Shopping online is no longer the preserve of the younger generation. In fact, the older generation is learning how easy it is to shop online and how many benefits come with it.

E-commerce under COVID-19

COVID-19 has naturally had an impact on Danes' online shopping, with many physical stores experiencing a decline in sales or having to close temporarily or permanently. This has meant that shoppers of all ages have had to become familiar with online shopping.

Older people are likely to continue to shop more online for two simple reasons; it is easy and convenient to shop online and it reduces the risk of exposure to COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.

All things considered, older people are spending more money online than they have in the past. So it's interesting to see what they spend most of their money on online. This can be seen from the following data from Statistics Denmark, which shows that in the 60-74 age group:

  • 47 % bought clothes, sports and leisure equipment online in the last year
  • 37 % bought furniture and household goods online in the last year
  • 29 % bought medicine online within last year
  • 25 % bought books and newspapers online within last year
  • 23 % bought food online within last year
  • 14 % bought groceries online in the last year
  • 9 % bought music and movies online in the last year.

Buying appetite rises

After more Danes chose to get their frozen holiday money back, consumer confidence rose again. Consumer confidence is a measure of people's views on the current and future economic situation. In September it stood at minus 7.5, while in October it was minus 6.2.

The modest increase is evidence of a growing appetite to buy among the Danish population, and this is good news for business owners across the country:

Source: www.statistikbanken.dk/forv1.

Make use of this knowledge

As a marketer, it's important to keep your finger on the pulse and follow developments in society. As the older generation increasingly embraces e-commerce and consumer confidence soars, you need to use this knowledge to evaluate your marketing efforts.

How can you target your marketing to the +65 group and what products do they want? This requires you to take a step back and look at what immediate opportunities you have to reach the older audience. Here are a few examples:


It may go without saying, but there's often a difference between how an 18-year-old and a 65-year-old act on Google. That's why it's a good idea to explore ways of working with the keywords used by the older generation, so that you also appear in search results when they're looking for what you offer.

You can read more about finding keywords in our post on keyword analysis. Unfortunately, there are no tools that can provide reliable information on the age demographic use of keywords. My recommendation is therefore to map keywords in subject and product areas that you know appeal to an older audience.

There are likely to be areas that appeal to both younger and older audiences. In this case, you may choose to narrow the analysis by only examining product-related keywords that contain, for example, "for the elderly". This can be beneficial if you have a limited SEO budget and want to focus your efforts. However, it is usually more appropriate to target broad keywords, knowing that they are used by different audiences.

Google Ads

The keyword analysis from your SEO efforts can be used as the foundation for your Google Ads ads. Audiences, ads and sales messages in Google Ads can be tailored to the keywords you have identified in the keyword analysis.

Your demographic targeting in Google Ads is a point you should pay particular attention to, as you may mistakenly exclude the grey gold if you are not aware that they may be part of your target audience.

Don't feel too safe!

Perhaps your target audience has always been the willing shoppers over 65 who loyally return to your physical store. You have positioned your business in the market over the years and therefore feel that customers are loyal to your business. It is not necessarily true - statistics show that the otherwise traditional target group is no longer satisfied with buying their products in person.

Older people research the market online and compare products as well as prices. This means that your target audience may not be as loyal as you might think. Technology has become part of their everyday lives, and if your business doesn't keep up with the trend, you risk losing customers to your competitors over time.


Martino Mike d'Apuzzo

Partner & Senior Digital Advisor

Se forfatter

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