Coronavirus BRIEFING

How COVID-19 Is Impacting Boomers’ Shopping Behavior

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The coronavirus pandemic has forced consumers to adapt many aspects of their lives, from daily routines to how they safeguard themselves and their families. Even as many communities look to reopen, it is likely that the pandemic will continue to impact how consumers of all ages socialize and shop. This is particularly true for baby boomers, those ages roughly 56 to 74. New data from NRF’s Spring Consumer View study shows key ways the pandemic has shifted this demographic’s priorities and what it means for their interactions with brands and retailers.

Stay-at home mandates and social distancing requirements mean boomers have moved more of their lives online. Nearly half (45 percent) say they’re shopping online more as a result of the pandemic, which is significant given that the vast majority (82 percent) typically make less than half of their purchases online.

Certain categories have seen more of a shift to online, especially items that can help relieve boredom during a lockdown. Even Fido and Felix are getting spoiled—pet supplies, toys and books and other media are the products where more boomers have shifted their purchasing habits the most, with more buying mostly or entirely online as a direct result of COVID-19.

It’s not just online shopping that has grown. Buy online, pick up in store has become increasingly popular during COVID-19, and boomers haven’t shied away from it. Over six in 10 are aware of BOPIS—more than any of their younger counterparts. Two-thirds have tried BOPIS; of those, 63 percent said it improved their overall shopping experience.