Baby Boomers Buy Clothing Online

Women cite poor customer service in brick-and-mortar shops.

by staff writer
- Apr 06, 2010

Women from the baby-boomer generation are shopping online for new clothes and bypassing brick-and mortar-stores, according to a new study. reports that two-thirds of these women buy apparel online, and 13 percent buy clothing exclusively on the Web because of bad customer service they've experienced at brick-and-mortar shops. About 84 percent of respondents said sales people in department stores were indifferent or rude, and 32 percent of respondents said young assistants neglected them because of their age. Less than 20 percent of those surveyed said associates were helpful.

"The irony is that these women are highly desirable clothing customers with not only great spending power, but time," says Stephen Reily, founder and CEO of, an online community of affluent women over 50. "Our research suggests that while they don't shop as a hobby, they buy the clothes they want, when they want. Their purchase decisions are driven by how clothing looks on (59 percent) and how it feels in terms of comfort (28 percent), but not by price (8 percent). As no identifiable fashion retailers are currently making it easy for them to shop in person, 65 percent are taking their dollars online to avoid the in-person hassle."

While other age groups may wait for sales to make purchases, 47 percent of women 50 and older say they shop whenever they're in the mood. About 19 percent of respondents said they had a monthly budget of more than $250.

"Smart retailers will look for ways to better train their sales associates to recognize the purchase power of the 'vibrant boomer woman,' and keep her from feeling ignored in the marketplace," says Carol Orsborn, senior strategist of

About the Author

Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.

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