Initially, short-video apps in China booked their successes among youngsters, but now also seniors find their way, and apps try to monetize the elderly followers, says marketing expert Ashley Dudarenok to Kr-Asia.
Among the nearly 6.4 million new Douyin users registered in March 2020, 14.5% of them were over the age of 46, according to Quest Mobile. In 2019, that proportion was 13%. Chinese seniors also spend more time online—nearly five hours a day—up 39% from 2017, per QuestMobile.
With these numbers in mind, it’s no wonder that short-video platforms have been looking to monetize on the trend. To attract more elderly shoppers, short-video apps have cultivated a strong senior-centric influencer category, Ashley Galina Dudarenok, marketing expert and founder of marketing firm Alarice, told KrASIA.
“Many elderly internet celebrities on Douyin and Kuaishou have millions of fans. They have strong personalities, solid reputations, strong creative abilities, and a mature understanding of the format and channel,” she said. For example, one account on Douyin, dubbed “Grandma Wang who only wears high heels,” has amassed 10 million fans in three months, collecting sales of over RMB 5.3 million (USD 820,000) in one of her live broadcasts.
ByteDance has also been testing a specialized version of Douyin for older users, featuring simplified functions and larger font sizes. The company’s efforts coincide with China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology’s guidelines released at the end of 2020, calling for tech companies to improve accessibility for older and less digitally savvy users by simplifying interfaces and curbing intrusive advertisements…
Short-video apps are also easier for seniors to navigate, as the vertical scroll feature for watching videos on Douyin and Kuaishou is fairly intuitive. Senior users are presented with an intuitive shopping experience presenting fleeting purchase opportunities that take just a few taps to complete. At the same time, most of the products shown in a user’s feed on short-videos apps promote deals that are available only for a limited time, creating “ideal consumption scenarios to stimulate resonance and induce impulse purchases,” Dudarenok said.
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