For seniors, it can be astounding how much has changed. Seniors have, after all, seen the evolution of technology right from the very beginning. Many seniors today would still remember growing up without a television. Technology really has come a long way and startups often do not target seniors for their products.
The development of technology is hugely beneficial to all areas of society. From connectivity to the ability to get online anywhere in the world, right through to how it impacts health and medicine, it’s incredible how influential digital transformation has been. Mobile phones didn’t exist just a few decades ago, and when they did come out—they were often ‘car phones’ plugged into the car, not the smart devices we carry around in our pockets today.
For startups looking to expand into the seniors market segment, the benefits are most certainly clear, meaning that there is a huge market potential for those that are ready to take the leap and expand.
Understanding the market potential
Developments in technology have made it a whole lot easier to ensure our most senior citizens are adequately cared for. Wearable devices, medication management apps, and health monitors are all transforming the way we understand our health and the way the results are provided to our healthcare practitioners.
There are thousands of apps and websites online that provide exercise classes, and even the Nintendo Wii sports games are a fantastic way to keep fit, improving overall health. The real question is—have startups forgotten to target such a large percentage of the population that is or could be using their products?
Seniors and social media
Recent research even found that the seniors of today have better mental capabilities than those tested 10 years ago. A key cause of this is the increased use of technology and the way it impacts our brains. Social media is keeping loneliness, isolation, and depression at bay.
Australian Seniors reports that “87% of seniors agree that social media keeps them more connected with friends and family, and 62% believe it reduces feelings of isolation.” What this really means is that the elderly are in fact using social media to keep in touch with people. Whether it’s seeing photos on Instagram, or commenting on a Facebook status update—regardless of age, technology is being used by everyone.
Safety apps are popular
For seniors, it may come as no surprise that safety is of utmost importance. Through recent technological advancements, seniors can now call a carer, family member or even emergency services with the click of a button.
In essence, safety apps make living at home more convenient and less stressful for the elderly. For example, emergency response systems can be put around the house, and can be used in conjunction with wearable devices like Fitbit that track, monitor, and notify medical practitioners immediately of any unforeseen medical emergencies.
Online video streaming
According to a report by Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), in 2015 “Streaming video (12 per cent) or TV (11 per cent), followed by streaming of music or radio (five and four per cent, respectively) were the most common ways older internet users engaged with video and audio content online.”
Streaming services such as Netflix, Stan and clips on YouTube are providing older internet users with entertainment, allowing the elderly to discover new products, learn new skills, and keep up to date with trends. However, the real question is—are startups tapping into this market?
What does this mean for startups?
The seniors market offers startup a hidden market opportunity. In Australia alone, during 2017 there were 3.8 million Australians aged 65 and over, comprising of approximately 15% of the total population—and there aren’t many Australian startups targeting Australia’s older population as a growth strategy, presenting startups with a massive opportunity to tap into a large market that is rarely considered and overlooked.