US e-tail giant Amazon has launched a new e-shop specifically aimed at seniors in a bold move to tap into the so-called ‘silver pound’.
Carrying the tagline ‘shop for yourself and those you care for most’, the 50+ Active and Healthy Living Store sells nutritional supplements, medical supplies, beauty, travel and personal care products specifically oriented towards more mature consumers.
Skincare brand Olay, personal metrics company Fitbit and Centrum multi-vitamins (all US brands) are among the big names stocked in the online store. It also boasts a Resource Centre where shoppers can gather lifestyle tips on healthy eating, caregiving and exercise.
Incorporating Amazon’s subscription-based ordering service, Subscribe & Save, many items can be re-ordered and delivered automatically – scoring discounts of up to 15%.
Chance Wales, director of beauty and health & personal care for Amazon, has stated that its goal is “to offer customers in the 50+ age range a place to easily discover hundreds of thousands of items that promote active and healthy living.”
The shift to catering to a niche in this way appears to be a strategy that Amazon has been building for some time. Niche e-stores based around topics or themes rather than traditional product categories, including allergy relief and spring cleaning, have been surfacing over the past year.
The move into the mature market may well be a shrewd one as figures indicate it’s both the fastest growing and wealthiest demographic. In the next 10 years, the number of people over the age of 60 will surpass one billion (globally) according to UK charity HelpAge International, while in the US alone, Boomers number 80 million and hold 70% of disposable income.
However, Amazon’s prescriptive approach could potentially risk alienating older consumers who do not wish to be defined by their age, objecting to being put in the ‘senior’ bracket.
Boomers Rethink Values chronicles some of the major shifts in the attitudes and lifestyles of this age group.
See also Senior Living for more detail on potential business/design opportunities arising from the demographic shift.