Older and Frustrated: Easy Ways to Lift the Consumer Experience of Millions

Older and Frustrated: Easy Ways to Lift the Consumer Experience of Millions


According to Nielsen’s Consumer and Media View research, more than one in five Australians (21%) were retired in 2013 and another four percent were looking at retiring in the next five years; yet findings from Nielsen’s Global Report on Ageing shows there are a number of key areas that industries still need to address to meet the expectations and needs of this growing demographic.

The report revealed the strong need for Australian consumers to be as independent and active as possible throughout retirement with 61 percent saying their biggest concern about life in old age is losing their physical agility, followed closely by losing their mental agility (59%), losing self-reliance to care for basic needs (59%) and having enough money to live comfortably (59%).

The findings highlight the opportunity that retailers, manufacturers and service providers have to ease the concerns of our elderly, by offering conveniences to make their lives easier.

On the product front, more work is necessary to cater to seniors who often have special nutritional needs or dexterity limitations or desire smaller-sized food portion packaging. Forty-seven percent of Australians say it is difficult to find product labels that are easy to read, and one in two (49%) have trouble locating packages that are easy to open. One in three (33%) cannot find foods that meet special nutritional diets, offer smaller portion-sized food packaging (36%) or have clearly labelled nutritional information on food packages (44%).

Fast-moving consumer goods marketers are not the only ones missing the mark with ageing consumers. More than two in five (44%) Australians say they don’t see advertising messages that reflect the needs of older consumers; while a substantial proportion find it difficult to navigate assistance from service-oriented industries like housing (38%), transportation (30%), finance (30%), medical insurance (28%) and meal-delivery providers (25%).

These results serve as a wake-up call to manufacturers, retailers and other marketers that need to bolster efforts to better reach and cater to an ageing demographic. Improvements such as using larger fonts on product labels and signage, arranging age-related products in one place and at arm’s length for easier accessibility, and offering friendly customer service can go a long way in building loyal patronage.

Gearing up for the Golden Years

The Nielsen Global Ageing Report revealed that retiring with enough money to live comfortably throughout our golden years is a dream that is taking longer to achieve for many Australians, with more than two in five (41%) planning to work well past the ideal retirement age of 65, 18 points higher than the global average of 23 percent.

Around six in 10 (58%) Australians plan on using personal savings and investments as their primary source of income throughout retirement, more than double the number (27%) of those who plan on using government plans as their key source of funding.

The report also conveys our ideals of entering retirement without imposing on our loved ones. Thirty-six percent say they are concerned about being a burden on family members or friends – significantly lower than the global average of 49 percent, and just nine percent are concerned about living with family members, compared to 14 percent of consumers globally.

Financial security is considered to be the highest future priority among a third (32%) of 50-59 year olds. While superannuation is considered as ‘not enough live on after retirement’, among one in three consumers aged 50-59 and among 26 percent of those above 60.

Click here to download Nielsen’s Global Report on Worldwide Ageing.

About the Nielsen Global Survey

The Nielsen Global Survey about Ageing polled more than 30,000 Internet respondents in 60 countries to give voice to the concerns we have about growing old and to evaluate how product and service manufacturers and retailers are meeting the challenges that often arise with age. From in-store amenities like wider aisles and ample lighting, to easy-to-read and open product packaging, to transportation or housing assistance, the findings focus on improvements that are necessary in all corners of the globe.

The sample has quotas based on age and sex for each country based on their Internet users, and is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers and has a maximum margin of error of ±0.6%. This Nielsen survey is based on the behaviour of respondents with online access only. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60 percent Internet penetration or 10M online population for survey inclusion. The Nielsen Global Survey, which includes the Global Consumer Confidence Survey, was established in 2005.