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'Silver-haired economy' is booming online

Date: 2021-03-26

The "silver-haired economy" is booming in the rapidly aging world, which is bringing about great business opportunities for Chinese foreign trade enterprises.

The "silver-haired economy" refers to the vast consumption potential of people aged 50 and older. According to some reports, seniors spent 3.7 trillion euros ($4.38 trillion) on goods and services in the EU in 2015. A report about the "silver-haired economy", co-researched by the European Commission and other institutions a few years ago, said that if the "silver-haired economy" was a country, it would be the third largest one after the United States and China. Its expenditures are expected to grow at an annual rate of 5 percent and reach 5.7 trillion euros in 2025.

The report noted that people have become optimistic about living older. New senior-oriented products and services are required to help people live longer and better.

Seniors in different countries show different consumer proclivities.

Statistics show that in the US, seniors spend more on health care and entertainment. The per capita expenditures of people aged 55 to 64 and 65 and older in the entertainment category are all higher than people age 25 to 34 and 25 and younger, respectively.

In Japan, seniors spend more on general-purpose consumption, such as articles of daily use, which has become an important commercial entity.

In Germany, over 40 percent of people aged 55 to 69 shopped online in 2015, purchasing products spanning various categories, such as food, clothing, entertainment and leisure, household products, second-hand clothing, as well as home furnishings.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak that started in 2020, many seniors in the US who stay at home have also turned to shopping online.

A report from market research company NPD Group shows that in 2020, US seniors aged 65 and older spent an average of $187 per month online, an increase of 60 percent over the previous year. The amount of senior online shoppers has also been growing rapidly.

Online retailers and express delivery companies have also released various measures to people over 65 to entice their online shopping habits.

Freshly provided cooked foods in small portions and with low sodium for seniors have been popular. Grocery deliver company Instacart has promoted hotlines. Target's delivery service Shipt eliminated the $99 annual fee for eligible low-income seniors.

Fashion has proven to be popular online shopping purchases for seniors in Japan with high incomes. More than 30 percent of Japanese seniors now are used to shopping online.

Comprehensive consumption data in Japan showed that the use of e-commerce platforms by seniors has increased by about 300 percent year-on-year.

A recent report also shows that in 2020, the number of internet users in Turkey reached 67 million, of which 37.2 million were online shoppers, including a large number of seniors.

In the past few years, about 30 to 40 percent of people aged 55 to 64 in Turkey have become used to shopping online. In 2020, the proportion soared to 70.5 percent, which has almost caught up with that of Generation Z consumers, which refer to people born from 1995 to 2009.

Although Turkish consumers aged 55 and older used to be cautious about online shopping, the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic has caused them to do online shopping. Many have found online shopping to be practical, diverse, reliable, and cheap.