American Marketer


56pc of affluent Internet users made online holiday purchase: report

February 21, 2013


More than half of affluent Internet users made an online purchase during the past holiday season, according to new data from comScore and Martini Media.

This new data is a follow-up to a previous report about the week of Black Friday, which is the day after Thanksgiving in November. The data reinforces the important role that ecommerce plays in affluent shopping at all times of year.

“Affluent consumers shop online across all categories, including luxury goods,” said Michele Madansky, San Francisco-based media and market research consultant.

“Search and site visitation for luxury goods is much higher than online purchases, indicating they are also purchasing offline after discovering products online and researching them on retailers' and manufacturers' sites,” she said.

Ms. Madansky served as the independent research expert for this study.

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 originally measured Nov. 21-26 during the Black Friday through Cyber Monday weekend.

Ecommerce drive

The original data found in this report was further analyzed to discover new findings about the holiday shopping habits of affluent consumers who have a household income of more than $100,000, per the report.

In December 2012, affluent shoppers were more than 31 percent more likely to make an ecommerce purchase than those in the less-than-$100,000 household income range.

Bergdorf Goodman offers ecommerce

This resulted in 56 percent of affluent Internet users making an online purchase in December.

During the Black Friday shopping weekend, affluent consumers were only 15 percent more likely to make an ecommerce purchase.

In addition, the gap in luxury spending also increased.

Affluent consumers were 47 percent more likely to make a purchase on a luxury Web site in December, compared to 41 percent during Black Friday weekend.

Also, the affluent group was 30 percent more likely to purchase products in the apparel, accessories and jewelry category in December. Around Black Friday, this group was only 17 percent more likely to purchase from these categories.

Retailers score big

In the initial report, luxury retail Web sites seemed to be winning over affluent holiday shoppers.

Barneys New York Web site

The Affluent Online Shopper Index uncovered that affluent consumers are 40 percent more likely to make a purchase on a luxury retail Web site compared to non-affluent consumers.

Therefore, luxury retailers should ensure that their ecommerce Web sites are easily accessible to wealthy customers.

Also, 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 (see story).

The original study covered Black Friday, but the researchers thought that more trends would be uncovered in the wider time period.

“We had focused on the week of Black Friday in the original analysis, but wanted to broaden the time period to uncover the entire holiday shopping time period,” Ms. Madansky said.

Final take

Erin Shea, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York