Baby Boomers spend more on online shopping despite cost-of-living pressures

While Baby Boomers and Gen X spent more on online shopping last year, the younger generations reduced online spending amid financial pressures, according to an Australia Post study.

Baby Boomers spent $12.5 billion on online purchases last year, up 7 per cent, the 2024 Inside Australian Online Shopping Report showed. Similarly, Gen X spent $17.5 billion, a slight increase of 1 per cent.

On the other hand, Gen Z’s online spending declined 11 per cent to $10.6 billion while Gen Y’s online spending fell 2 per cent to $22.1 billion.

“We’re seeing a growing confidence in older generations spending more than younger generations in each transaction,” social researcher and generational expert Claire Madden said.

“While Gen Z don’t currently have the same earning capacity as older generations, they are showing they are still active, savvy, online shoppers who have a focus on lifestyle spend and search for good value.”

However, the report noted a decline in average basket size across all generations, falling 3 per cent to $109 among Baby Boomers and 5 per cent to $110 among Gen X. Gen Z and Gen Y’s average basket size both slid by 6 per cent to $80 and $95, respectively.

Meanwhile, Australians spent the most on home and garden, with sales amounting to $16 billion. Sales grew 9.1 per cent to $15.8 billion in the variety stores category and climbed 2.4 per cent to $13.2 billion in the food and liquor category.

“The success of sales events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday ultimately contributed to Australia Post achieving its biggest e-commerce peak period ever, delivering nearly 100 million parcels in November and December,” Australia Post executive GM of Parcel, Post and eCommerce services Gary Starr said.

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