Micro-Moments for the Elder Population

The smartphones we carry every day is millions of times more powerful than Nasa’s computers used to fly Apollo 11 to the moon. Almost every one of us have a smartphone. Singapore has one of the highest smartphone penetration in the world, with more than 90% of the adults using smartphone. With almost all the smartphone being connected the internet, this allows digital marketer to reach its audiences in real time.

Source: https://uxdesign.cc/a-look-at-googles-micro-moments-and-how-to-make-use-of-them-9aa13c874dd1

Google first coined the term Micro-moments, to describe 4 critical moments that matter in customer shopping journey. However, what is useful to a group of people, might not be useful to the others. For example, older people has been shown to behave differently when it comes to mobile usage. Older adults tend to use fewer apps, keep the apps opened longer, and use their phones earlier in the day1. The first step of design thinking is to empathize with your targeted users2. We have to see the world through the eyes of the elderly, in order to be useful in their micro-moments.

I-Want-to-Know Moments

Source: https://think.storage.googleapis.com/images/micromoments-guide-to-winning-shift-to-mobile-download.pdf

Mobile site or app has to make it easy for users to find information to their answers. As we age, our cognitive power decline3. It is important to use minimal design and avoid irrelevant content on the screen to ease the navigation on mobile sites or apps.

I-Want-to-Go Moments

Source: https://think.storage.googleapis.com/images/micromoments-guide-to-winning-shift-to-mobile-download.pdf

Older people are more frail in general, and have some degree of mobility difficulty4. Companies targeting older population should include services such as delivery or provide accessible route for them. The lack of accessibility might deter whether customers even want to go there in the first place. In Singapore, a group of students is working to produce a map that gives an accessibility overview of the Central Business District (CBD) area.

I-Want-to-Do Moments

Short-term memory and attention capacity might be limited in the older population. Companies should use subtitles for any voice/video for instructional purposes. Instructions should be brief and straightforward. Font-size should be adjusted to larger font as the elderly have a poorer eyesight.

I-Want-to-Buy Moments

Source: https://think.storage.googleapis.com/images/micromoments-guide-to-winning-shift-to-mobile-download.pdf

A study conducted by the Visa Singapore showed that the usage of digital payments for consumers between 50 and 80 years remains low. The reasons might be due to fears about fraud, and a lack of comfort around new payment technologies5. Other reason such as low ownership of credit and debit cards might also be another reason of such low usage of digital payment6. Cash on delivery might be a possible solution to increase online purchase among older population.

By 2030, one in five residents in Singapore will be aged 65 and above5. The older population is a huge market to be capitalized. However, companies should be mindful when it comes to crafting perfect micro-moments to their customers. Different populations might have different needs.


  1. Gordon, M. L., Gatys, L., Guestrin, C., Bigham, J. P., Trister, A., & Patel, K. (2019, April). App Usage Predicts Cognitive Ability in Older Adults. In Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (p. 168). ACM.
  2. Beckman, S. L., & Barry, M. (2007). Innovation as a learning process: Embedding design thinking. California management review50(1), 25-56.
  3. Craik, F. I., & Salthouse, T. A. (Eds.). (2011). The handbook of aging and cognition. Psychology press.
  4. Clegg, A., Young, J., Iliffe, S., Rikkert, M. O., & Rockwood, K. (2013). Frailty in elderly people. The lancet381(9868), 752-762.
  5. Visa.com.sg. (2019). Visa and People’s Association partner to strengthen digital inclusion for senior citizens in Singapore | Press Release. [online] Available at: https://www.visa.com.sg/about-visa/newsroom/press-releases/visa-and-peoples-association-partner-to-strengthen-digital-inclusion-for-senior-citizens-in-singapore.html [Accessed 16 Aug. 2019].
  6. Lee, J. (2018). Concerns about fraud keeping elderly away from digital payments: study. [online] The Business Times. Available at: https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/banking-finance/concerns-about-fraud-keeping-elderly-away-from-digital-payments-study [Accessed 16 Aug. 2019].

10 thoughts on “Micro-Moments for the Elder Population

  1. I agree. Mobile marketing has indeed improve our lives collectively, it is also important for the elderly, to keep abreast with technology as technology is now a part of many people’s lives. Community and interventions should be made to allow the older generation who are not good with technology to be integrated to a certain degree so that their lives wouldn’t be affected.


  2. I think this is an interesting take on micro-moments, considering that you gave examples of users with specific age demographics but also addressed their needs and interests. Brian Solis mentioned that marketers should not rely too much on demographics as they will miss many of their potential buyers.

    However, I did not quite understand your main point, do you believe that marketers should continue to target potential buyers based on demographics? Or do you believe that micro-moments are the way to go?


    1. My point is, when you have a product specifically targeting elderly: for example the elder care, and any promotion for the elderly, we should consider how micromoment is different for the elderly.


  3. i believe that it takes a very high level of empathetic understanding of the consumer (elderlies) in this case to male adjustments for this demographic of people. Interesting analysis on your part as the elderly are not usually the first to come to mind to most people.


    1. Design thinking should starts with empathizing, with the population getting older, maybe it is time to think about how mobile app can be more elderly friendly to increase penetration rate.


  4. It was an interesting read! I liked how you use different demographics to explain your view on micro-moments 😊 I agree that marketers have to consider different micro-moments for the different target audience.


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