Oct 12, 2022|

Six Ways JD.com Supports Its Elderly Shoppers


by Vivian Yang

As of the end of 2021, the aging population in China over 60 had exceeded 267 million. Their growing consumption demands and a shift to e-commerce have presented both opportunities and challenges for retailers. Here are six ways that JD.com has helped elderly customers explore digital technology and embrace their role in the “silver economy”.

1. Customized Call Service

JD’s customer service department established a dedicated team to serve elderly customers during phone calls. Team members maintain a slower and more placid speaking manner, articulating around 100 words per minute (comparing with 200 words/minute of normal pace) while talking to elderly customers on the phone. Meanwhile, for easier understanding, they communicate in various local dialects and also refrain from using technical terms or jargon. Moreover, for elderly people who cannot use the internet, JD’s team sometimes helps these customers make online purchases on their behalf, especially for housebound customers.

Mr. Fang, an over-70-year-old man living alone in Zhaoqing of Guangdong province, made more than one hundred orders in the past three years through JD’s customer service, over the course of more than 100 accumulative hours.

2. Doorstep Delivery by Thoughtful Couriers

Delivering products to customers’ doorsteps, instead of a pick-up station, has been a long-held practice by JD Logistics. This service is beneficial for elderly customers because it not only brings them convenience but also creates a special bond between them and their community couriers. These couriers are always willing to help, such as teaching them how to use new home appliances sent by their children, reading them about medicine usage, and more.

Today, JD’s same-or next-day delivery service covers 94 percent of counties and 84 percent of townships in China. Additionally, by connecting with more than 200,000 physical stores in over 1,800 counties, its online-to-offline delivery service supports one-hour delivery that can meet more elderly people’s urgent demands.

3. A Digitalized System of Elderly Care Service

One morning last winter, Madam Weng, a resident of Tianjin city, was home alone when she suddenly began to feel dizzy. She immediately pressed a button that had previously been installed by her local community. It only took five minutes for community staff to reach her home, and they sent her to the hospital immediately. After being discharged from the hospital, she has continued to receive follow-up calls and services as the local community monitors her recovery status with technology supported by JD.com.

“The call button was a huge help for me,” said Madam Weng. The call button is part of the digitalized system for elderly care service co-developed by JD Cloud with the local government of Hexi District of Tianjin. The system is composed of an elderly population database, a website for elderly care services and a dedicated service platform that helps to upgrade the local government’s management capability in serving elderly people.

4. Offering Elderly-Friendly Products and On-site Services

Mr. Chen and his wife, both 80 years old, are living by themselves in their old flat in Beijing. Their children had wanted to revamp their small bathroom to avoid the slippery accidents, but considering the long renovation time that would be involved, the couple had been putting off the renovation plan. Then their daughter showed them a VR solution for elderly-friendly space transformation on JD.com. The solution package, which includes a flush toilet, handles, and more, was shipped to Mr. Chen’s home within 24 hours; and JD’s renovation team completed the work within 72 hours.

Mr. Chen’s experience is only one example of how JD has been leveraging its matrix of more than 100,000 types of elderly-friendly products of all categories and offering design and space transformation services that can quickly create safer and cozier homes for elderly people.

5. Trading in Old Electronic Products

This year, JD’s electronic products department upgraded its trade-in services, allowing customers to trade in cross-category products and multiple pieces for new ones. For example, customers can exchange five-year-old cell phones or a mix of old computers, air conditioners, cameras, and more for new electronic products. The service is welcomed by many elderly people for providing a good way to dispose of their old stuff, by contributing to e-waste recycling. As of now, the transaction value of the trade-in program has grown 146 percent year on year.

6. Personal Health Services

One customer, Mr. Li, cares for his 85-year-old father, who has lived with disabilities for many years. Bathing him has always been challenging for Mr. Li until he learned about the professional bathing assistance service that can be ordered via JD Health’s dedicated portal for elderly care. Through this service, the caregiver Mr. Wu will bring his health kit to check Mr. Li’s father’s temperature, blood pressure, and oxygen level, making sure of the client’s health condition before he starts bathing and massaging him, and then trims his nails after the bath.

Besides comprehensive caregiving services that users can order via JD Health, Mr. Li was also pleased to learn that he can conveniently order a wide range of medicines and health equipment on JD Health, as well as telemedicine services through the internet or hotlines where he can receive timely advice from doctors.

JD’s consumption data shows that from 2018 to 2022, the number of total orders made by elderly customers tripled, with their transaction volume increasing 2.1 times and the number of users up 1.8 times. The company is continuing to explore ways to support elderly shoppers, helping them bridge the digital gap and enabling them to live more happily, conveniently, and meaningfully with more dignity.