Chinese society is aging fast and the ‘silver’ market is expanding rapidly. A consumer survey commissioned by HKTDC Research found that the Top 3 popular products will be clothing and accessories, health products, and smart electronic products. The survey suggested that they are also buying senior‑specific products ranging in price between several hundred yuan and over RMB1,000. In general, the unit price of an adult’s purchase for their elderly parents is higher than that paid by older consumers buying for themselves.
1. Clothing and accessories
These days, seniors lead a more active social life than previous generations have. The survey found that they have on average 1.83 face‑to‑face contacts a week with family and friends. Frequent social gatherings make them pay greater attention to their looks. One of the respondents in the focus groups said: “I took a course on dressing up at an elder academy after my retirement.” Purchase frequency reflects this desire among older people to improve their appearance. 94% of the senior group respondents said they had bought clothing and accessories (including clothes, shoes and bags) in the past year. 81% of respondents in the group of adults with elderly parents said they had bought clothes for them. One participant in an elderly focus group said that they had hired designers to put together outfits for special occasions.
2. Health products
Healthcare products, including calcium tablets, vitamins and fish oil, are also products frequently bought by seniors who are becoming frailer due to hypertension, osteoporosis, arthralgia and other health issues. They mainly buy healthcare products to prevent illness and manage pain. The adult children of elderly parents mainly buy healthcare products that are intended to help their parents live a longer life. Although elderly people and their children do not see healthcare products in the same light, they all see a need to buy these products. 70% of both senior and younger respondents in the survey said they had bought senior‑specific healthcare products in the past year.
3. Smart electronic products
Seniors have spending power
The survey found that products connected to personal taste and interests were mostly bought by the seniors themselves. For example, 94% of the elderly respondents had purchased clothing and accessories for themselves, while just 81% of the adult children in the survey had bought such products for their parents. For sports equipment and goods, the difference is even greater ‑ 38% of seniors had bought these in the past year, while only 21% of their adult children had purchased them on their parents’ behalf. However, when it comes to functional products such as health monitors, rehabilitation and physical therapy products, home safety equipment and assistive devices, the percentage of purchases by adult children for their parents is slightly higher than that of seniors buying for own use.
the survey also showed that adult children generally tend to pay higher prices for senior‑related products than their parents do. For example, the average unit price paid by adult children on clothing and accessories purchased for their parents is RMB512, while seniors only spent an average RMB348 per item in that category. Adult children also paid several hundred yuan more than their parents did when buying assistive devices, smart home products and health monitors for their parents. This is not the case in all product categories however. Seniors paid RMB2,263 on average for smart electronic products, RMB573 more than their adult children did when buying them for their parents.