American Marketer


70pc affluent males prefer online shopping across three screens: iProspect study

May 2, 2012


Approximately 70 percent of affluent male consumers prefer to research and buy on tablets, mobile and computers, opening a door for luxury marketers to take advantage of this growing demographic, according to research from iProspect and comScore.

As opposed to researching online and buying in-store, affluent males prefer to do everything behind a comforting technological wall. Most of the purchase is on computers, but as this population becomes more comfortable with mobile and tablet, transactions on these mediums are expected to skyrocket.

“Affluent males should be a growing and important target for luxury brands,” said Andrea Wilson, Fort Worth, TX-based director of digital strategy and luxury practice lead at iProspect. “Luxury brands should work towards providing an omni-channel focus for affluent males by ensuring their mobile, tablet and PC platforms allow ease and efficiency for affluent males to research and buy online.

“Affluent men are heavily using their mobile smartphones and tablets to research and buy products, especially travel and luxury apparel/accessories, for themselves and others, so luxury brands need to be poised and ready to make it easy for this growing audience to interact with them favorably online,” she said.

Research included tracking Web site visitation of males ages 18 and older with a household income of $100,000 or more. There are 19 million males that fit this demographic.

Channeling transactions
The majority of sales are being done on computers at 98 percent. However, 67 percent of males are also buying on mobile phones and 46 percent purchase on a tablet.

In addition, 67 percent of affluent males are making multiple online purchases per month with 40 percent of those shopping spending approximately $30,000 a year.

“One of the most surprising findings was the frequency and large amount of online annual spending that affluent males reported,” Ms. Wilson said. “This really shows that the affluent male is online in full-force.”

Ralph Lauren on the New York Times

Knowing this, brands should make themselves more visible on these channels.

Approximately seven out of 10 affluent males report seeing ads on a computer and one in three reported seeing them on a tablet or smartphone. Furthermore, a majority are willing to engage with them at some point.

Affluent males want their banner ads short and to-the-point and also enjoy interactivity and video.

This demographic also responds to search. Many of them are captured by search on computers, but mobile search is definitely on the rise, according to the research.

This is important because brands need to be available and visible from a multimedia standpoint.

Affluent males are also researching on a variety of different engines. Marketers should ensure that their search campaigns include research-driven keywords and branded and non-branded terms on all of them.

Rolex uses paid search on mobile

To see which mediums works best for a particular brand, marketers should track and target devices separately, according to the research.

Social media is also a big way to reach this demographic. It is a consistent part of the affluent male’s reported media consumption, with 55 percent of them using Facebook and 39 percent using Google+ at least once per day.

It is imperative that marketers look out for new social media platforms, according to the research.

Affluent males also know what they are looking for when they look to research and buy.

This group’s favorite brands include Rolex, Louis Vuitton, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus. This group said that they most look for travel, apparel, automotive and sports.

Mercedes Web site

E-male marketing
The key takeaway from this research is that luxury brands need to be on all channels, since the male consumer is not a one-medium shopper.

The first step is to optimize the brand Web site for mobile and tablet audiences, which helps to create an omni-channel presence.

Hugo Boss optimized its site

In addition to this, brands need to pay attention to the needs and activities of the mobile users so that they can tailor the experience based on requests and behavior, per the research.

Marketers also need to start advertising on mobile and tablet properties since the high usage of tablets and mobile devices can drive valuable brand awareness and traffic.

Another strategy is advertising on email portals. Approximately 76 percent of affluent males check email on their phones, the activity most widely done by this group.

Emails can be highly targeted by gender, household income, location and context taken from emails read.

This route is a cost-effective medium that can be tailored to the brand’s audience.

Another route is the use of mobile applications. Brands can either make their own or use others, but placement on apps is becoming crucial.

Lexus' sponsorship on Pandora's mobile app

Apps can be used for purchase, information, interaction and overall engagement with consumers on a medium that affluent males frequent.

“The best way for luxury brands to reach affluent males per each platform themes around prominently providing a cohesive and relevant presence across the devices and outlets the affluent male frequents,” Ms. Wilson said.

“Ensuring Web sites and apps provide easy navigation, product detail and research abilities are extremely necessary and providing helpful content and guidance across social sites as appropriate to share brand voice, personality and further product insights and guidance will help the affluent male become further ingrained in the brand,” she said.

Final Take

Rachel Lamb, associate reporter on Luxury Daily, New York