Amazon Goes After Older Adults & Seniors With New Store

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Amazon has launched a new store catering to mature adults and seniors, the company announced today. But while “Amazon Seniors” would have a nice ring to it, Amazon went with a more polite, if wordy, branding: “50+ Active and Healthy Living Store.” As the name implies, the new store will be focused on a variety of “healthy living” needs, including nutritional products, wellness, exercise, fitness, medical, personal care, beauty and entertainment items and more.

The site also serves as another smart extension of one of Amazon’s lesser-known features: subscription-based ordering. Today’s its “Subscribe & Save” program allows Amazon customers to schedule automatic deliveries of household products (cleansers, paper towels, etc.) and other replenishable goods, including baby products (diapers, wipes, etc.), personal care items (deodorant, lotions, etc.), and more.

With the new Amazon 50+ store, that same type of automatic re-ordering is possible for products aimed at the older crowd, like vitamins, incontinence care products, shampoos, and the like. When ordered via Subscribe & Save, customers are entitled to a discount – up to 15 percent – on items purchased.

Targeting seniors’ interest in clipping coupons to save, Amazon’s senior store – oops, sorry, it’s 50+ store – also includes a “Coupons” section promoting items which are discounted by either a percentage off or dollars off. This section, featured prominently on the store’s homepage, lets consumers virtually “clip” the coupon, then receive the discount at checkout.

The senior store isn’t only an e-commerce site, Amazon notes in its announcement this morning – in addition to the usual product info, ratings, recommendations and reviews, it will also offer a “Resource Center,” which provides tips on beauty, healthy eating, caregiving, and other topics, designed to aid shoppers in product discovery. The content provided here is powered by GrandParents.com, and includes articles on things like “Boosting Brain Power” or “Losing Weight,” for example.

“We’re excited to offer customers in the 50+ age range a place to easily discover hundreds of thousands of items that promote active and healthy living,” said Chance Wales, Director of Beauty and Health & Personal Care for Amazon in a prepared statement. “This is a destination where a customer can purchase anything from vitamins and blood pressure monitors to skin care items and books on traveling the world,” he added.

Though older consumers tend to be late adopters of online services and the web in general, they’re still a powerful part of the Internet population. According to Jupiter Research, one-third of the U.S. 195 million Internet users are over 50, per a study put out a couple of years back. As of last spring, Pew Internet found that 74 percent of those 50-64 use the Internet, and 41 percent of those 65+ do, up from 41 percent and 12 percent in 2000. However, at the time, the study found that purchasing products online was “significantly less popular” with adults over 65. By catering to this group’s desire for savings and convenience, Amazon may have a chance to grow its demographically older user base.

The new store will be available from the web here: www.amazon.com/50activeliving.