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The Aging Population is Growing, and So Are Its Retail Needs

June 6, 2014

We’re all getting older, but we’re also living longer. And as the world’s population lives longer, mature consumers are focused on staying active and being healthy. According to the World Health Organization, 2 billion people will be at least 60 years old by 2050, presenting a prime opportunity for retailers to take stock of the segment’s particular needs. So how can retailers across North America better serve the needs of this growing and lucrative segment of health-focused seniors?

The first step is identifying consumer pain points. And when we look at the results from a recent Nielsen global aging survey, North American respondents indicated that certain store features or services “don’t meet or only partially meet the needs” of aging consumers. For example, only 37 percent of respondents believe stores provide adequate handicapped ramp and door access, and only 34 percent believe aisles are sufficient for handicapped accessibility. Additional areas of opportunity include providing electronic shopping carts and online delivery options, two categories that ranked low among North American respondents in terms of fully meeting aging consumer needs.

Digital Shopping Strides

While the retail sector and industry experts don’t expect the convenience of online shopping to completely replace trips to the grocery store any time soon, digital is making significant strides with mature consumers, particularly Baby Boomers. And while younger generations are already fluent with advancing technology, older generations are starting to use the Internet more readily for purchasing goods from vendors that offer home delivery—a key service retailers can provide to consumers who don’t drive.

One in five North American respondents said they’re currently ordering online for home delivery of traditional grocery trips, and two-thirds expressed a willingness to use these services. The interest in online ordering can’t be ignored by brick-and-mortar retailers. In fact, the survey results suggest that many consumers are willing to click and collect from brick-and-mortar retailers if online ordering is offered and pick-up options exist either inside a store, at a drive-through window or at curbside.

Source

"The Aging Population is Growing, and So Are Its Retail Needs." Nielsen Newswire, 2014.

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