Across the world, many societies have to face a significantly larger proportion of the population ageing than ever before. According to the World Health Organisation, by 2050, the world’s population of people aged 60 years and older will double. This only means businesses need to step up to understand the needs of senior citizens and offer services and products that fulfil these needs.
Advocacy groups, such as The Office for Seniors, in New Zealand are ramping up support, setting up the Age Friendly Programme to assist senior citizens in becoming more digitally adept. To bridge the digital divide, The Office organised digital literacy lessons that familiarised seniors with purchasing products, such as groceries, online. With initiatives such as these being rolled out, and the elderly becoming increasingly familiar with online shopping – opportunity is ripe for organisations and e-commerce companies around the world to harness silver power.
Businesses can consider two ways of integrating senior citizens into their business strategies; producing and selling healthcare and medical products; creating work opportunities within their organisations. In this way, they recognise the value of seniors in societies and can fully leverage the power in silver.
With retirement of senior leaders, management staff and experienced workers, an organisation experiences a brain drain: the loss of rich, vital knowledge and skill resources. The experience gained by senior employees through their years and decades of work is invaluable and is instrumental to the continued success of any organisation. And workplaces are starting to recognise this.
How is DHL doing its part to prepare for the silver economy? By implementing several initiatives that allow elderly employees to continue contributing to the workforce. One such initiative is the implementation of senior worker support packages, which includes flexible hours and part-time employment, to help support seniors as they transition to a different pace and way of working. Through the use of technology, tasks can be also automated and labour required can be lessened. For example, with the development of bionic enhancements, advanced wearables and exoskeletons, can help to mitigate work-related fatigue and injury, amongst other benefits.
Over a third (35.6%) of senior citizens surveyed are comfortable making food deliveries online, a Euromonitor International study found. In addition, seniors spend relatively more than their younger counterparts due to their higher incomes. This only means that seniors are ready to connect digitally and have the purchasing power to do so. For companies to successfully meet the needs of seniors and take advantage of the silver economy opportunities, it’s imperative that they first understand older adults as consumers.
What can businesses do to start adapting to their needs and wants? First, take into consideration the products in particular demand. These include food and nutrition, healthcare, telehealth, and at-home delivery services for necessities like medicine or groceries. This is also a good opportunity to consider more inclusive marketing strategies to cater to this group of consumers.
Next, consider the specific, unique logistical requirements needed to transport and deliver these products. DHL Medical Express can adeptly deliver medicines, vaccines, kits, clinical supplies and other medical devices to the right destination. Experienced personnel are trained to supervise these shipments and solve regulatory challenges. DHL Medical Express also has the capability to handle ambient, chilled or frozen shipments and can arrange for earliest possible, next-day deliveries. With a Dedicated Customer Service on hand and central monitoring of shipments, seniors can rest assured knowing where their packages are at all times during the journey.
Optional last-mile delivery services provide consumers with the flexibility to make special delivery arrangements through Dedicated Delivery and Dedicated Pickup options. Contactless deliveries also safeguard the elderly by increasing the hygiene and safety of deliveries.