American Marketer


Affluent consumers are 40pc more likely to purchase luxury via Web sites: report

December 17, 2012


Affluent consumers are 40 percent more likely to make a purchase on a luxury retail Web site compared to non-affluent consumers, according to new data from Martini Media and comScore.

The Affluent Online Shopper Index uncovered that affluent consumers are not holding back on spending this holiday season and many are making purchases online. Therefore, luxury retailers should be sure that their ecommerce Web sites are easily accessible to wealthy customers.

"When you think affluent, you may think of someone walking the aisles of a luxury store, but they are clearly leveraging digital in their daily lives, and this offers marketers a great opportunity to know they can use digital campaigns to reach them," said Skip Brand, CEO of Martini Media, San Francisco.

“The affluent are searching for luxury online,” he said. “Even the most luxurious brands need to showcase their wares online as the affluent audience prioritizes digital as a tool to buy and research these items.”

The Affluent Online Shopper Index is a behavioral analysis of comScore’s 1 million online panelists.

Martini Media’s study profiled comScore’s panelists with a household income of more than $100,000. Their activity was measured Nov. 21-26 during the Black Friday through Cyber Monday weekend.

Big browsing

The data shows that luxury retailers should use their holiday campaigns to trigger ecommerce since that seems to be where affluent consumers are spending their money.

Affluent consumers are 15 percent more likely to make an online purchase than non-affluent consumers.

These affluent shoppers are also 14-times more likely to visit a luxury brand site and six-times as likely to search for a luxury brand term online.

Georg Jensen ecommerce site

Apparel, accessories and jewelry seem to be the most sought-after categories during the holiday shopping season since affluent consumers are spending 80 percent more on these items than the average consumer.

“Luxury marketers should make absolutely sure their brand is marketed online and that their Web sites are extremely search- and user-friendly,” Mr. Brand said. “One in six affluent audience members will visit a brand site during the season.”

Brands should also make sure that their Web sites are easily accessible from search engines as well.

“The research indicates that many affluent consumers do not directly visit a luxury brand site direct, but instead search for the luxury brand by name,” Mr. Brand said. “It is important that a site is rich in keywords.”

Spending confidently

As the fiscal cliff looms over the United States, affluent consumers’ spending on holiday shopping has not been affected, per the report.

Affluent shoppers are spending an average of $295 per purchase on luxury retail sites, but 19 percent of affluent shoppers spend more than the average amount.

Other recent research has uncovered similar findings in affluent consumers’ confidence.

U.S. consumers’ confidence level is at its highest since the beginning of the recession, projecting a strong holiday performance for retailers, according to Experian Marketing Services’ Consumer Expectation Index.

The findings of the Consumer Expectation Index for the first half of 2012 showed that the outlook for the holiday season is strong and there is a direct correlation between household income and economic optimism (see story).

“Despite concerns that a failure by the federal government to provide a resolution that addresses the fiscal cliff would deter holiday shopping, or the often-perpetuated myth that the affluent do not shop online, the data suggests the contrary,” Mr. Brand said.

Final take

Erin Shea, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York