Age stereotypes reverse when it comes to online shopping for healthcare

Older people are generally better shoppers, because they’ve been doing it longer than younger people. But when it comes to online shopping, most believe that younger people have the edge.

In some cases so, but this study by Accenture shows that when it comes to shopping for healthcare online, older shoppers, long assumed to be less confident digitally, seem better able to figure things out for themselves – online.2016-02-07_11-17-46

Even those with high-cost or complex health conditions (a group more likely in general to seek assistance) use digital channels at essentially the same rate as healthy, young consumers: 66 percent versus 68 percent.

The Accenture research shows that younger shoppers on public health insurance exchanges (HIX) are less familiar than older shoppers with both their options and the buying process (67 percent versus 72 percent). It’s not surprising then that they’re also much more likely to find the information so confusing they need to seek live, person-to-person help (76 percent versus 59 percent)

The assumption that older shoppers are less confident digitally, is an increasingly dangerous ageist stereotype. It would seem that ‘experience’ – as represented by age – has a far greater effect than either ‘familiarity’ or ‘comfort’ with digital shopping when it comes to the need for live assistance.

Indeed, in the case of online healthcare, 18- to 34-year olds are about 30 percent more likely than 35- to 64-year olds to be confused enough by their choices to seek person-to-person help when shopping for insurance on public exchanges.

What does this mean? To provide a barrier free, Lifetime Customer Experience, one needs to consider the circumstances (physical and behavioural) that might affect ALL adult shoppers, regardless of age.

Download our free AF Brands iPad app to check whether your customer experience is ‘Age-Friendly’.