As the 65-and-older demographic increases in size and spending power, retailers, brand marketers and service providers have opportunities to better support the health and well-being of aging consumers, according to new findings from Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy.
According to the Nielsen Global Survey about Aging, which polled more than 30,000 Internet respondents in 60 countries, more than half of Taiwanese consumers (52%) surveyed claim it is difficult for an aging demographic to find product labels that are easy to read, and more than four in 10 (48%) cannot find foods that meet special nutritional diets. More than one in three Taiwanese respondents (when thinking about the product or service needs of the aging consumer) say they have difficulties in finding products that feature clearly labelled nutritional information (43%), smaller portion-sized food packaging (39%) or packages that are easy to open (38%).
“These findings serve as a wake-up call to manufacturers, retailers and other marketers that need to bolster efforts to better reach and cater to an aging demographic,” said Seren Su, senior director, Consumer Insights, Nielsen Taiwan.
Nielsen information also shows that more than three in ten (32%) respondents in Taiwan believe stores are not catering to the needs of older consumers by providing road-side assistance to help with grocery bags to the car, nor aisles dedicated to aging-needs products (31%). More than two-fifths say retail channels do not offer handicapped check-out lanes (24%), benches to sit down (22%), wide aisles for handicap accessibility (21%) or ample handicapped parking (20%).
According to a 2012 report released by the Council for Economic Planning and Development, Taiwan is now an aging society and by 2018 will become an “aged” society, which means those aged over 65 will comprise more than 14 percent of the population. “While the aging population in Taiwan is growing in number, their spending power is growing, too, as many have more time to shop and spend than their younger counterparts. As retailers and manufacturers clamor to create a point of differentiation for their products and services, they only need to listen to the loud call for help coming from aging consumers,” said Su.
Su continued: “From product development to distribution, marketers have to put themselves into elder consumers’ shoes, both physically and mentally, to meet their unique needs. Offering age-based advertisements, using larger fonts on product labels and signage, arranging age-related products in one place and at arm’s length for easier accessibility, and delivering friendly customer service can go a long way in building loyal patronage.”
Compared to the global average, Taiwanese consumers are embracing the convenience of digital tools. More than half (53%, the second highest among the 60 countries surveyed, after China’s 62%) of respondents in Taiwan say they are already ordering groceries online for home delivery. Usage of online coupons for grocery shopping is already a practice among more one-third (36%) of Taiwan respondents, exceeding the global average and number 6 around the globe. Thirty-five percent (the second highest, after India’s 40%) say they have already use online and mobile shopping lists. Though only 17 percent claim they have already ordered online and used drive-thru pick up, close to three-quarters are willing to use ordering online and drive-thru pick up in the future.
”While the findings are based on online respondents and represent an increased propensity for online usage, the research reflects the sentiment of leading-indicator attitudes that will only continue as Internet penetration rates grow and more tech-savvy baby boomers become seniors in the next few decades,” said Su. According to Nielsen information, while the internet penetration of the Taiwanese population aged over 50 is low (18 percent lower than the general average of 62%), the growth rate is two times faster than the average. Savvy marketers need to ensure they are connecting with the aging demographic, too.”
The Nielsen Global Survey about Aging was conducted between August 14 and September 6, 2013, and polled more than 30,000 consumers in 60 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America. The sample has quotas based on age and sex for each country based on their Internet users, is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers and has a maximum margin of error of ±0.6%. This Nielsen survey is based on the behavior of respondents with online access only. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60-percent Internet penetration or 10M online population for survey inclusion. The Nielsen Global Survey, which includes the Global Consumer Confidence Survey, was established in 2005.
Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence and mobile measurement. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA, and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.