As a dancing trend among the elderly sweeps across China, they have emerged as a new consumer group for dance products online, a report says.
More than 30 per cent of dance-related products were purchased by consumers around age 50 or older in the first three quarters of this year, according to data collected by Taobao, China's biggest online shopping platform.
In 2011, such consumer activity among this group was almost zero, said the report jointly released on Tuesday by Taobao and CBN Data, a business data research centre attached to financial news outlet China Business Network.
Guangdong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces ranked as the top three in terms of the volume of dance products purchased, although no data was available on how much they spent.
Elderly people from the central part of China, such as Hubei province, are more likely to buy dance products online than their peers in other regions.
In the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, elderly people spend more on dance gear than on any other sporting products.
"Many people in Xinjiang are from Uygur and Kazak ethnic groups that are famous for their dancing talent. This has now been proved by the consumer data," one netizen commented after the report's release.
In order to help sellers better understand this emerging consumer group, the report also gave listed the typical prices for dance products: 62 yuan ($9.65) for a pair of shoes, 42 yuan for a top or bottom, 90 yuan for a suit and 50 yuan for accessories.
"I would not spend too much money on it because a dancing product is not a necessity for life. Products priced at 100 or less will be reasonable," said Zhang Yihuan, 56, who lives in Yunnan province and leads a 12-person dance group, mostly women, every morning.
"Dancing provides enough exercise for people my age. It's a group activity, which is also a good way to make more friends and prevent us from getting depressed," she said.
While an increasing number of elderly people like to buy dance products online, the report also indicated that the major dancing products currently sold on Taobao are for Latin and modern dances and also could prove popular among younger people.
The report also describes the favourite sports and physical activities among elderly people in different regions. For example, people in Hebei and Shanxi provinces love running, while those in coastal areas prefer swimming, it said.
Fishing is popular among the elderly nationwide.