You've all probably heard the famous quote by hockey great Wayne Gretzky - "Skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been." While it is unlikely that any of us will predict the future with any degree of certainty or accuracy, we can all take in statistics, data, trends, etc. to make a more educated guess about what the future will hold.
A recent study by the EMEA Retail team at Colliers International shows that 78% of seniors (65+ years old) in the UK are regularly shopping online - the highest percentage in the study, with the US showing only a 43% participation rate. Germany, Sweden, France and the Netherlands were all ahead of US 'silver surfers' in terms of shopping online. There have been countless stories and research showing how the global population is aging - so appealing to this growing segment of the online buying universe will be an important component of all online e-commerce going forward.
The Colliers study also pointed out that among the 'silver surfers', China leads with 50% of ALL online purchases being conducted via a mobile device whereas the UK is just 29% and the US is 27%.
The study also went on to state that by 2020, 45% of all online shoppers will buy from other countries and that cross-border online sales will increase from US$230B today to US$1 Trillion!
With an ever-increasing segment of the global population becoming 'silver surfers' in the coming years, it appears that the puck is indeed headed in this direction. Appealing to this segment of the market with appropriate mobile technologies and online buying experiences will be a critical component of any e-commerce strategy. In addition, with the growth of cross-border shopping, the demands on delivery and fulfillment infrastructure as well as technology to support this flow of goods will surely continue to evolve in response to this market.