The majority of online shoppers in the United States in the next five years are more likely to be older than 35 and from households with an annual income of $30,000 to $75,000, compared with the young, affluent shoppers who make up the current online buying population, according to research firm Jupiter Media Metrix.
Also, the online shopping population, which now consists of 66 million Americans, will double to 132 million in that time, the New York firm predicts.
“The next generation of online shoppers will be quite a bit different than the consumers who defined the Internet channel in its early years,” Ken Cassar, Jupiter senior analyst, said in a statement March 4. “They will be more representative of middle-class America.”
Consumers 50 and older will account for 30 percent of new shoppers from 2002 through 2006, compared with 16 percent of the current online shopping population, according to Jupiter.
Also, the average household income of online shoppers will drop to less than $65,000 in 2006 from $70,000 now, Jupiter predicts. Nearly half of new online shoppers' household income will range from $30,000 to $75,000 between 2002 and 2006.
As women and older consumers spend more and shop in greater numbers online, apparel and prescription drugs will be hot sellers, according to Jupiter. Women spend more money on clothing than men, and older consumers buy more prescription drugs than younger ones.
These two groups also are expected to boost online sales of large and small kitchen appliances in the years to come, Jupiter predicted.