Recent Survey Finds Unique Trends in Mature Market Shopping Habits; 85 Percent Prefer Cash

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Conducted by Response Mine Interactive, Survey Finds Nearly a Quarter of Respondents Refuse to Use Credit.

This survey confirms our observations about marketing to Boomers and Seniors, they are more conservative in their spending and shopping habits and although they are Internet users, the store experience is much more comfortable to them. - Ken Robbins.

Response Mine Interactive (RMI), a digital marketing agency founded on direct response principles focused holistically on driving category leading ROI for brands, announces the results of a study conducted nationwide of the company’s mature market database. The survey polled Americans ages 48 and over. The survey sought out to uncover current shopping habits and resonating trends among the mature market as it gears up for the holiday season.

Findings in the survey hint at possible salvation for retail stores who have suffered under the specter of “showrooming,” the phenomena where shoppers search the stores’ prices, then buy online for greater deals. Response Mine found that 34 percent of mature market shoppers prefer to shop in store as compared to the 13 percent who prefer online only.

However, the solid majority of survey respondents prefer a mix of online and in-store shopping when purchasing holiday gifts. As the mature market conducts their holiday gift shopping, nearly six in 10 (57 percent) of those surveyed admit to comparing their favorite brick-and-mortar retailers with online competitors. There was also a direct correlation between the age of a shopper and the likelihood they are to practice showrooming. The older the shopper the less likely they are to compare offline and online prices.

The survey also uncovered interesting facts that fall far from the “me” generation label given to the group based on its tendency to purchase everything on credit. Nearly 85 percent of our survey respondents prefer cash or check over using any type of credit card. In fact, a full quarter of all respondents report using no active credit cards at all.

“This survey confirms our observations about marketing to Boomers and Seniors- they are more conservative in their spending and shopping habits and although they are Internet users, the store experience is much more comfortable to them,” states Ken Robbins, founder and CEO of Response Mine Interactive. “Retailers who market to the 50+ segment should implement marketing strategies to support brick and mortar shopping rather than online-only.

Another interesting point that emerged from the survey is that print catalogs are out of favor with mature Americans. The survey found that only one percent of respondents still purchase from catalogs. That said, one can assume that seniors are taking part in the “showrooming” trend among all shoppers, by reviewing catalogs then shopping in-store or online for better deals.

Spending Habits
Response Mine Interactive’s survey shows that while the retiring market tends to be overlooked by marketers, those boomers and seniors have in fact matured in step with the growth of the Internet. They find value in free shipping when online shopping, likely because it allows them to send gifts to their children and grandchildren.

“One area of opportunity online is in distance gifting,” continues Robbins. “Online marketers should consider testing free shipping offers combined with targeted messaging around gifting to family in other states.”

Other key findings from the survey conducted by Response Mine Interactive include:

  • Those in pre-retirement to retirement have a more conservative approach to their personal finances.
  •     Retirees are becoming Internet consumers at a faster rate than in previous years.
  • Shoppers 56 years and older shop for an average of between 9 and 10 individuals each holiday season.
  • Of those who participated in our survey, 80 percent state that they make charitable donations during the holiday season. Most (52 percent) cite religious organizations as charities they support.

RMI Survey Methodology
The Response Mine Interactive (RMI) self conducted survey utilized the company’s mature market internal database. RMI used both telephone and online surveys to collect the data needed, and 434 respondents were contacted via telephone and 214 respondents completed an identical survey through email. RMI began collecting data on August 7, 2012 and completed on August 13, 2012. All responses were compiled and analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively. Findings for total respondents are significant at a 95 percent confidence level and with a +/- 3.72 percent margin of error.

About Response Mine Interactive
Response Mine Interactive (RMI), a digital marketing services firm founded on direct response principles, which focuses holistically on achieving online category domination for brands. Dedicated to ROI through media driven efficiencies, RMI has generated billions of dollars in revenue for leading brands in the e-commerce, seniors, health care, retail, travel and home services markets. For more information, visit or call 404-233-0370 x318.

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Kira Perdue
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