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Is Traditional Shopping Still In?

Updated: Apr 3

The following is an article “Is Traditional Shopping Still In?” by Marc Primo.


E-commerce has proven to be a successful industry that continues to grow with younger generations opting to make purchases online. On the other hand, those from Generation X and older prefer to shop traditionally in stores as they’ve grown accustomed to. One study shows that the only defining factor between digital and traditional shoppers is age: Those who are 37 and below are more inclined to shop online, while individuals who are 38 and older prefer going old school.


Both have their conveniences, but digital consumers have taken a large percentage of the market in recent years. That’s because online shoppers experience faster turnarounds for purchases and find it more convenient to automate their transactions. But why do some consumers still prefer traditional shopping despite the self-sufficiency and speed of e-commerce?


Here are some facts to help you understand why, and what you can do to convince traditional shoppers to give your website a try:


Fear of technology. According to Alliance Data, most people who use social media and mobile apps have a 26% chance of making a purchase online. Mobile phones now allow users to make a variety of transactions, from reviewing product ratings to selecting products and making purchases. These inclusive capabilities, however, are also the reason why older folks couldn’t care less about shopping online. A Lancaster University research showed that older individuals use fewer mobile applications and spend less time online than younger adults. The refusal to use technology is rooted in how older users are afraid to commit mistakes via digital transactions, and how they are unfamiliar with tech jargon that makes processes too difficult. Perhaps, what software developers can do for those who are not internet-savvy is come up with more user-friendly interfaces that will make the purchasing process easier for them. As they say, you can’t teach old dogs new tricks, but if you guide them towards easier processes, they’ll surely consider them.


Personal values. Another reason why older shoppers prefer traditional processes is the regard for personal values. Most have reservations in using technology as they think it could have negative impacts on society. The truth is, not everything that’s marketed on the web (or dark web) is really legal. Traditional shoppers also find it a time-consuming burden to compare products online and would rather seek an expert or influencer who will make their choice for them. They value the social benefits of mingling with the physical community and doing face to face transactions with their trusted sellers. Converting traditional consumers to go digital may require marketers to create more social avenues where their customers can easily interact. A dedicated chat feature in your website may entice them to try it and create a community that discusses a specific product’s features and reviews.


Security concerns. Online banking is a traditional consumer’s waterloo. The possibility of misplacing money online and having to go through a whole lot of steps to retrieve it is not an enticing prospect for individuals who are more comfortable with old-fashioned bank transactions. Fortunately, developers continue to place more efficient security measures for online financial transactions. What you need to do to convert traditional consumers is go on a door-to-door marketing campaign and take the time to enlighten them about how you can ensure that their money and transactions are safe.


Social responsibility. Older individuals sometimes refuse to go digital because of their profound sense of social responsibility. They feel that stores who have automated their systems have somehow taken viable jobs away from people. The hard fact is that e-commerce can indeed make certain physical functions obsolete. Employment opportunities for store clerks and door-to-door salesmen may be dwindling with bots doing their jobs for them. Older people genuinely feel concerned that their grandchildren may run out of opportunities due to the rise of technology. If you feel the same social responsibility, make sure to let your users know that your company creates jobs that empower people. A good word-of-mouth might just be what you need to convince traditional users to go and try out your online store.

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