Older consumers shut out in Asia Pacific

14 April 2009

SINGAPORE: Many older consumers in Asia Pacific feel they are ignored by marketing communications, despite the fact that a large number of this group are keen to "reward themselves in retirement," according to figures from SILVER.

While the retired population in Asia Pacific will have a spending power of some $2 trillion (€1.5tn; £1.4tn) by 2015, more than double the total in 2005, Silver suggests that over 90% of marketing spend is still "skewed" towards younger consumers.

The company has recently conducted an online poll of 170,131 people over the age of 50 in Australia, China, India, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. (To access full details of the survey via SILVER's website, please click here.)

It found that some 66% of participants in India supported the statement that "companies are far more interested in designing and selling products to the young rather than their parents."

This figure fell to just over 45% in Hong Kong and China, but declined to under 30% in both Singapore and Japan, which are among the "more advanced ageing societies" in the region.
Australian's over the age of 50 were the most likely to want to “reward themselves in retirement”, with 70% of participants stating an intention to do so, followed by 60% of those surveyed in Hong Kong, and half of all respondents in China.

However, the vast majority of consumers in each of the countries assessed also plan to be "thrifty" in the current downturn, though many also said they "would still spend in the expenditure is justified."

Within this, only 3% of Australian, Indian and Japanese respondents plan to buy "more personal luxuries," compared with just 1% of their counterparts in China, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Similarly, 3% of participants in Hong Kong are aiming to purchase a new computer or mobile phone, the highest positive score on this measure.

The intention to buy "expensive consumer electronics" was also in the low single-digits across each of the nations surveyed.

Attitudes were more favourable towards buying a new car or motorcycle, with 6% of Indians scheduling such a purchase, as were 5% of Australians.

Data sourced from Silver Group; additional content by WARC staff