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Published on : Feb 07, 2018

Alibaba-backed online retailer, Taobao has a secret consumer market to cash in on in a time where most companies are looking to capture the millennial market. The launch of an “elderly-friendly” edition of its app will be specifically targeting the growing population of Chinese senior citizens. Aging over 60, the elderly population of the country is already 222 million strong. This statistic is expected to touch the 255 million mark by 2020, which could be close to a 20% of the country’s total population. Launched last week, the app is projected to draw the attention of aging Chinese.

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Taobao has customized its new app for older shoppers to gain access to a highly untapped consumer market in China. Aged shoppers have the option called ‘pay-for-me’ wherein they could link straight to their children’s account if they are willing to pay for their parent’s purchase expenses. It employs more shortcuts for navigation and has a less crowded but larger interface. On every page of the app, older shoppers could see their child’s photograph so they could converse via text or phone or simply share products.

Currently, there are only 6 million Taobao users aged between 60 and 69. As per the company, online shoppers in China aged above 50 spent approximately US$800 to purchase 44 products on an average in 2017. There could be a possible spend of an estimated US$200 billion a year if senior citizens above 60 are considered. Since last week, the company has been recruiting for two employees aged 60 or above who will help to improve its new app by collecting valuable feedback from elderly users.