Virtually all (98%) affluent consumers use the internet to shop and make purchases, finds Unity Marketing [download page] in a new study released in December. Yet many have shied away from mobile commerce, although that appears to be changing. The affluents surveyed, who have an average income of almost $250,000, showed an increased propensity to use their mobile devices to make purchases. In the 3-month period prior to the survey, 40% claimed to have done so, almost double the proportion (22%) from last year.
Still, there is a significant generational gap that remains, with young affluents (under 45) more than twice as likely as mature affluents (aged 45-75) to have made a purchase through a mobile device in the previous 3 months. As a result, Pam Danzinger, president of Unity Marketing, says that “age, not income or gender, is the key determiner of whether [affluents] use a mobile device to power their luxury lifestyle.”
Affluents’ increasing reliance on mobile devices for shopping purposes was also found in a recent study by iProspect. Looking specifically at affluent males (males aged 18 and older with a household income of at least $100,000), the study found that this group prefers to research and buy online rather than research online and buy in-store, and that they are increasingly turning to their mobile devices for that research. Additionally, an impressive 77% own a smartphone and 50% a tablet, with the vast majority of each group of owners accessing their devices on a daily basis.
1 in 3 Affluents Like Products and Brands on Facebook
Further details from the Unity Marketing study, “Affluents Online: A Luxury Trend Report on How Affluent Consumers They Use the Internet, Social Media, and Mobile Devices,” indicate that while social media use by affluents may have plateaued, brand engagement is on the rise.
Specifically, 8 in 10 affluents surveyed said they use social media, relatively unchanged from last year. Among those social media users, 43% said they have liked a product or brand on Facebook (up from 34% last year). That means that overall, about 34% of affluents have liked a product or brand.
- Affluents who shop online spent on average $3,702 on their high-end purchases during the 3-month study period.
- The typical affluent spends roughly 5 hours a week online performing shopping-related activities.
- 24-34-year-old affluents have turned to social media at the greatest rate (93%), although adoption is high among older groups too, such as 55-70-year-olds (74%).
- The primary reason affluents engage with brands on social media is to obtain discounts and special offers, while 31% also do so to show their support for the brand.
About the Data: The Unity Marketing data is based on a new survey among 831 affluent consumers conducted from October 9-15, 2012 (avg. income $248.9k; age 44.8 yrs; 42% male/58% female) who use the internet, social media, and mobile devices to power their luxury lifestyles.