Why Silver can be Sensational

May 17th, 2010   •   no comments   


Active Ageing award winners show the tremendous potential in the silver market (courtesy of mylifestylemap.com)

A recent news article in The Straits Times got me all excited yet again about the oldest but most neglected market opportunity.

Namely, the silver-haired (or seniors) market.
If you don’t believe that those uncles and aunties can teach you something, consider these statistics:

By 2015, consumers aged 65 years and above are expected to spend US$1.5 trillion (S$2.1 trillion) annually within the Asia-Pacific region.

In Singapore alone, that figure is set to hit US$10.8 billion – more than twice the projected spending of Singapore’s young premium consumers (those under 34 years old) in 2016.

With Singapore’s current population at almost five million, experts believe that by 2030, about one in five residents here will be aged 65 and above.
(Source: The Straits Times)

The days of the aged looking forlorn, frail and helpless in their nursing homes are long gone. Silver-haireds are increasingly embracing an active ageing lifestyle.

Other than F&B, travel, cinemas, beauty and healthcare services offering discounts and special prices for this golden market, technology firms have also realised the huge potential of getting retirees connected.

Unlike their more docile predecessors, Baby Boomers are more educated and want to be reached via their mobile phones and laptops. Maybe it is time to start get grandmothers hooked on tapping on an iPad, sharing their nostalgic stories during those days of yore?

The real estate industry is of course another major one. With lots of spare retirement cash and free time, silver-haired home owners will want to spend time dolling up their empty nests. This is as true in Canada, as it is in Singapore.

Of course, the most critical market for the silver-haired population is the talent market. With their years of experience, milder temperaments, and more holistic perspectives of life, silver-haired workers can be a boon to employers. Especially those Gen X-ers and Gen Y-ers trying to understand this market.

Unfortunately, the commercial market in Singapore still doesn’t quite embrace the potential of the silver-haired market as this study shows. Time and again, we are inundated with brochures with too tiny text, advertising materials with too young models, and products – especially technology oriented ones – that are way too complicated for less than nimble fingers. The obsession with fast turnaround time and the pressure for retail assistants to make a quick sale have also turned off many a senior consumer who may be less given to impulsive purchases.

Perhaps it is time for us to change our perspective and consider how we can better serve our more mature customers? After all, we’ll all reach there one day.

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