What America’s Mass Affluent Are Up To Online

February 11, 2014

Nielsen-Top-Online-Activities-Mass-Affluents-Feb2014America’s “Mass Affluent” represent 12% of US households but enjoy an outsized 26% of the nation’s total wealth, says Nielsen [download page] in a new report. This group – which is defined as households with between $250,000 and $1,000,000 in liquid assets – presents an attractive audience for marketers, particularly as wealth “is a truer measure of the ability and confidence to spend than income alone,” according to Nielsen’s report, which identifies the group’s top online activities.

The analysts note that the top activities differ according to employment status. The full lists can be found in the above chart (click to enlarge); the following bullets highlight the top 5 activities for each group, along with their index score in relation to the average American consumer.

For the Mass Affluent in the workforce, the top 5 online activities are:

  • Reading political news (index: 141, meaning that they are 41% more likely than the average consumer to read political news);
  • Monitoring investments and stocks (index: 140);
  • Watching online sports videos (index: 129);
  • Reading books online (index: 121); and
  • Researching product purchases for home (index: 119).

For the retired Mass Affluent, the top 5 are:

  • Monitoring investments/stocks (index: 184);
  • Looking at high school/college alumni info (index: 143);
  • Researching politics/campaign info (index: 140);
  • Accessing personal healthcare info managed online (index: 133); and
  • Using Yellow Pages/local search (index: 132).

It’s not surprising to see that both groups over-index the general population in monitoring investments online – after all, they’re defined as an overall group by their assets. The only other top activity shared by both is accessing personal healthcare information. Of note, the retired Mass Affluent are 18% more likely than the average consumer to download online coupons.

Nielsen also provides some details regarding the online categories that the Mass Affluent frequent the most relative to the average consumer. Financial tops the list, correct? Not quite: sports is actually the category that the Mass Affluent over-index the most with, being 54% more likely than the average consumer to visit sports-related sites online. Next up is financial (index of 151), followed by food (147), home (142) and travel (132).

Looking to find mass affluents offline? This article lists the top 10 US regions by concentration of mass affluents, and details some of the group’s more popular leisure activities.

About the Data: The data concerning the Mass Affluent group’s online activities is from Q2 2013.

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