The Associated Press featured Community Tech Network in a recent article, “Never too late: Pandemic propels older shoppers online.” Over a dozen different news outlets have picked up the article, including The Washington Post and ABC News.
Here is an excerpt.
“Instacart president Nilam Ganenthiran predicted that online groceries will be a ‘new normal’ for older people even when the pandemic ends. Still, there are many barriers, from struggling to use new technology to high prices to access.
“People 65 and older are less likely than younger people to have home internet or a smartphone. Nearly 22 million, or 42% of Americans 65 and older, lack broadband at home, according to a 2021 study from the nonprofit Older Adults Technology Services. Low-income and Black and Latino older adults are more likely to be left out, the study says.
“‘We are asking them to stay at home, and yet a lot of seniors are not connected,’ said Lauren Cotter of the Community Tech Network, a San Francisco nonprofit that trains low-income residents on technology and provides free tablets and hotspots.'”
Shopping online for groceries and essentials has proven a helpful option for seniors and at-risk individuals throughout the pandemic. At the same time, not everyone has access to or understanding of the online shopping world.
To those who grew up with the internet, many digital skills — such as using the search bar, refreshing the page, and Googling around for the exact item we want — feel intuitive. To others, navigating the internet is a whole new territory. What does it mean for my cart to expire? Should I trust the website to enter my credit card info? How do I find the products I am looking for? Without a robust knowledge of how to use the internet, online shopping can feel overwhelming and intimidating.