This page contains details of some of the recent journal article publications by Leigh Sparks. Pre-print versions of these articles are available online from the University of Stirling’s Depository (STORRE) in most cases, or contact the author or Leigh Sparks directly.
Maria Rybaczweska and Leigh Sparks (2021) Ageing consumers and e-commerce activities, Ageing & Society, Published online 25th January 2021, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0144686X20001932
Technology, and particularly the internet, has transformed consumer and business behaviours. An ageing population is impacted by these contextual and operational changes. Understanding these impacts within an ageing population is important for businesses, organisations and individuals, and their e-commerce activities. Our study increases understanding about the online behaviour of older consumers. Our research question is: what is the impact of age and individual and household characteristics on the online behaviour of older consumers? This is important given the increasing assumption that all consumers are digitally enabled. We use data from the first wave of an innovative longitudinal study in Scotland (HAGIS – Healthy Ageing in Scotland) to explore ageing consumers and e-commerce activities. The United Kingdom (including Scotland) is the world’s third largest e-commerce market, thus providing a suitable context. Our findings point to a shifting relationship between ageing consumers and e-commerce activities. Age is related to e-commerce activities but the ‘break-point’ for these activities is older than normally identified in academic and business practice. Sex is not a differentiator of activity but marital status is. Age and the contextual situation impact e-commerce, and have implications for access and capability, and link to questions over isolation. Important issues are raised for business and organisational practice, around service and other delivery for older people.