China’s elderly get special e-commerce app
TAOBAO, Alibaba’s flagship C2C marketplace, seeks to charm senior citizens through a new app designed just for them.
Domestic and international companies seem to be finally paying attention to China’s ageing population that’s growing in leaps and bounds every year.
A Bloomberg story last year cited that the value of products and services geared toward the country’s senior citizens may reach 33 percent of gross domestic product by 2050.
To be launched today, Taobao’s new app hopes to engage with and provide a personalized experience for the members of China’s aging population who are keen to participate in the digital economy and stay connected.
The new app aims to be driven by simplicity and provides easy access to Taobao’s most popular functions for seniors, including Tmall Supermarket, live-streaming programs, and customized shopping recommendations.
Taobao has also made design changes such as providing an enlarged interface and shortcuts on the app to better support its target users.
On opening the app, potential senior users will be given the option to choose the new version, register an account with their mobile number and link the account to that of their children.
The new version enables elderly parents to connect with their children without needing to navigate complex procedures.
Their children’s profile image will appear on every interface of the app. By simply clicking the image, parents are able to initiate a chat or voice call with their children, share product links, and make purchase decisions together. Their children can then choose to pay for the products that their parents have selected.
“By launching this simple and user-friendly option for the Taobao App, we will make online shopping easier for our senior citizens and help them stay connected with the younger generation and the community,” said Ding Jian, Senior Product Manager at Taobao, who heads the development of this new channel.
According to Alibaba’s statistics, about 30 million Taobao and Tmall users are aged over 50, with more than 75 percent of them aged between 50-59, and nearly 20 percent of them aged between 60-69. In 2017, Chinese people aged over 50 spent an average of about CNY5,000 (US$794) shopping online, buying an average of 44 products.
The company believes that offering better services to China’s ageing population will unleash the substantial potential in the Silver Economy.
According to information provided by the company’s press release, the Taobao App is a world-leading m-commerce app with 468 million monthly active users in May 2017. On an average, each active user launches the app 7.8 times a day.