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Shopping By Proxy: Senior Citizens' Adaptations to Necessary Role Shifts

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A critical consideration for retailers in the 21st century must be the impact of the aging of the world's population. The growing number of seniors worldwide, their high levels of discretionary income, and cohort specific wants and needs, make this segment important for marketers to understand. Emergent concepts in Study One suggest that seniors maintain gender-specific roles (women as shoppers and men as technology guiders to shopping) and that seniors' level of dependence affects their shopping experience and channel choice. Study Two suggests that seniors adapt to increased dependence by shifting their role specialisation to proxies (proxy decision makers, proxy buyers and/or proxy technology guiders). In addition, we find that situational factors, such as the ease or complexity of the shopping task and the shopping goal, impact channel choice and use.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 2006

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