The silver sports consumer
In recent years, to adapt to a new audience, a new concept has appeared in business that is related to attracting consumers aged 65 and over. This market is known as the Silver Economy, which is the creation of products, services, and economic activities that satisfy the leisure, well-being, and health needs of people 65 years of age or older. The silver consumer is a trend that has been growing stronger until it has become a new line of business for many companies and organizations.
The latest data affirm that the proportion of the population over 65 years of age has increased from 4.5% in the mid-20th century to more than 8% in 2019. This increase is much more pronounced in regions such as Europe, where it is expected that in 2050, a third of the population belongs to this age group.
Under this premise and the importance of this population segment in the coming years, the following question arises: Why is this group of clients so attractive? They are usually people with high purchasing power, without excessive propensity to save, who are in good health, are active, have many concerns, and have more time to enjoy products and services.
For this reason, be positioned on silver consumers is synonymous with profit. Most of them are people with a much greater purchasing power and with more financial freedom, since the average retirement pension, in 2019, amounted to 1,150 euros, compared to 650 euros, in 2005. On the other hand, these consumers are those with the most disposable income. Since 2013, this generation has become the richest with an annual income of 13,315 euros compared to the 11,680 euros on average of the population (INE, 2019).
Many are the sectors that create offers adapted to this type of consumer, and the sports field cannot be left behind. Today's elders are very different from those of previous generations, as they enjoy better health, autonomy, and life satisfaction. Life expectancy and consumption habits have led to an age group, from 55 to 75 years old, where people are still in a vital stage wanting to undertake challenges, to lead an active lifestyle, and the most important thing is that they still feel good to do physical activity. Therefore, the perfect alliance to develop these attributes are sports services.
Sports facilities in the morning are a clear example of this trend because older people spend two to three hours a day in the gym, but because not only it has become a physical habit but also a social activity that allows them to interact with other people.
The demographic evolution will force to improve the offer for this group towards gentler exercises and physical conditioning. Sports centers have to believe that the senior customer is the new user and to achieve this, three priority actions are necessary: reorient marketing and the customer experience; prepare professionals to serve effectively and with empathy and have a more efficient management human and customization oriented.
The period of recession due to COVID-19 leads the sports sector and the fitness sector and directed activities, in particular, to look to the future and foresee a transformation in the demand for products and services. Also, with this, it must be added that according to various studies that analyze the characteristics and behavior habits, it is known that older people are large Internet users, 68% have the internet at home and 58% use the computer regularly. Therefore, the offer of virtualization and online activities is another of the great bets for this type of customer.
In short, the senior public expects pampering, especially those over 75 years old. They have money to spend, but they will only do so if, they feel that they are appreciated and valued, these clients look for quality and warmth in the services they consume. The objective of the sports sector is to offer adequate service to a population segment that will be much older in a few years but which has evolved, and is expected to be much more active. Therefore, the focus is on knowing how to adapt to the needs and characteristics of this new group of consumers of physical activity and sport.
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