By Graeme McVie, VP, LoyaltyOne, email@example.com
Statistics tell the story: the U.S. population is getting older at a dramatic rate. The Department of Health & Human Service’s Administration on Aging estimates that nearly 55 million people – nearly one-in-six – will be age 65 or older by 2020, compared with 40 million in 2010.
Research indicates the U.S. is already shifting to meet the needs of an aging society in many areas. Global AgeWatch recently ranked the U.S. eighth out of 91 countries when considering issues such as income security, health status, and enabling society and environment.
Yet in recognizing this demographic trend, retailers are faced with some real challenges as well as great opportunities. Those who can effectively meet the changing needs of aging consumers will be able to tap into the largest slice of the mature market pie.
Retailers looking to score points with senior shoppers and ensure repeat business should consider the following:
Adapting the in-store experience. The physical layout of stores will play a significant role in attracting and retaining a mature consumer base. Retailers can cater their infrastructure to the rising consumer base by lowering shelf heights to allow easier access to products.
Wider aisles permit greater maneuverability and enhance flow. Enhancements such as larger, easy-to-read signage and on-cart magnifying glasses will also encourage a loyal following.
Adjusting quantities. Value promotions that encourage consumers to purchase larger quantities than they need or will use will increasingly become less effective. Think monetary discounts, not buy-one-get-one-free.
Pack sizes can also be a factor. Seniors living in households with one or two mouths to feed will not need large pack sizes, especially in categories that are perishable. Fresh, healthy ready-made meal options with single or double portions will be ideal for seniors.
Altering the product mix. Since healthcare is a primary concern with this demo