At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people turned to online shopping to avoid crowded stores and long lines. However, this behavior has not been limited to the general population. In fact, the elderly have increasingly taken to shopping online in an effort to remain safe and healthy.
While online shopping is a great option for the elderly, many e-commerce stores are not optimized for them. The following are eight steps you can take to optimize your e-commerce store for the elderly.
Step 1: Make sure the online shopping process is simple and easy to understand
The first step in optimizing your online shop for older customers is making sure they understand how it works. The most obvious way to do this is by simplifying your checkout process, as having too many steps can be overwhelming.
Additionally, it is also important for them to understand how to navigate your site. While many young folks shop on their mobile devices these days, the elderly prefer using PCs or laptops because that is what they are most familiar with. As such, you should ensure that your website works well on both of these platforms.
One excellent way to ensure your website works for either platform is by hiring a web design professional. They will be able to help make your website more user-friendly, as well as ensure that it is accessible to everyone.
Step 2: Use larger fonts, high-contrast colors, and simpler graphics
When it comes to online shopping, the elderly often have difficulty reading small text. This is because their eyesight tends to deteriorate with age. To make it easier for them, use larger fonts, high-contrast colors, and simpler graphics on your site.
You can also use a zoom function on your website, as this will allow older customers to enlarge the text to a size that is comfortable for them to read. Making the text on your website large and easy to read is crucial for older customers. They may not have the same level of vision as younger shoppers, so using smaller fonts can be difficult and frustrating.
Step 3: Make sure your website is easy to navigate
As mentioned, the elderly often prefer using PCs or laptops when shopping online. This is because they are already familiar with these devices. They may have a hard time using mobile phones and other handheld gadgets, so you should optimize your site for PCs and laptops.
In addition to optimizing the text on your website, it is also important that you have clear navigation menus. These allow older customers to easily find what they are looking for without having to search through long pages of text. You should also use easy-to-understand labels for your navigation buttons and links.
Simplifying your graphics can also help make your site easier to navigate. Many older folks do not have a high tolerance for flashy graphics and images, so you should avoid using them on your website.
Step 4: Use short paragraphs and simple language
Another difficulty older shoppers face is comprehending complex language. This is because their brains often start to deteriorate as they age, which can make it harder to understand complex sentences. To make it easier for them, use short paragraphs and simple language on your website.
You should also avoid using technical terms and jargon on your site, as the elderly are not likely to understand them. If you must use complex terms, be sure to explain them in layman’s terms. This will help ensure that everyone who visits your site can understand the information you are providing.
Step 5: Offer customer support
One thing that often intimidates older shoppers is the thought of having to deal with customer service representatives if they have a problem. This is why it is important to offer customer support on your website. This will make them feel more comfortable and confident when shopping on your site.
Offering support can be as simple as including a customer service email address on your website. You could also provide chat support or have an FAQs page, which answers common questions for you. These are just some of the many ways that you can offer excellent customer support to older shoppers while they shop online.
Step 6: Use clear payment options
Another thing that can intimidate elderly shoppers is the thought of having to enter their credit card information on a website. This is why it is important to use clear payment options on your site.
You can do this by including a payment gateway that is easy to use. In addition, you should make sure that all of your payment pages are secure, which means they include HTTPS in the URL. This will guarantee that all of your customers’ personal information is kept safe and private.
Step 7: Incorporate social media
Many older folks are on social media. By incorporating this into your e-commerce store, you can reach a new demographic who may not be shopping at your store yet.
You can do this by creating social media profiles for your store and sharing links to your products on these platforms. You can also run social media contests and giveaways, which will encourage older shoppers to visit your website and check out your products.
Step 8: Use age-appropriate images
As mentioned, many older shoppers do not have high-speed Internet connections. This is why it is important to include age-appropriate images in your store that load quickly. You can do this by using a smaller file size for images and hosting them on a CDN.
In addition, you should use images that are simple in terms of their color palettes and fonts. These will help ensure that your images load quickly and look good on all types of devices, including older PCs and laptops.
By following these eight steps, you can optimize your e-commerce store for the elderly and make it easier for them to shop online. This will not only increase your sales but also improve your customer satisfaction ratings. So start working on your store today to make it an easier shopping experience for everyone.
Meta title: 8 Steps to Optimize Your E-commerce Store for the Elderly
meta desc: The elderly are often neglected when it comes to e-commerce, and shopping online can be difficult for them. Some tweaks to your store could be a better fit for these shoppers. Here are eight steps to optimize your e-commerce store for the elderly.