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- 7 Nov 2011

Affluent Consumers and How They Use the Internet, Social Media and Mobile Devices

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Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing, shares the key insights from the Affluent Consumers and How They Use the Internet, Social Media and Mobile Devices report

As the luxury industry changes and consumers further engage the digital revolution, today’s brand marketers may never see his or his best customer. Instead, many affluent consumers are turning to the Internet to investigate brands, form connections and make purchases. In an attempt to better understand the online shopping landscape, Unity Marketing has published a new report, Affluent Consumers and How They Use the Internet, Social Media and Mobile Devices.

The research looks at how often affluent consumers use the Internet in support of luxury goods and services purchases, what do they buy online and how much they spend. The report also examines how affluent luxury shoppers use social media to learn about luxury brands, share information about luxury brands, and connect with people with similar outlooks. This year’s report also includes an in-depth look at how affluent consumers use their mobile devices to shop, interact, form relationships, and learn more about their favourite luxury brands.


Conducting the report we…

To better understand the online shopping landscape, Unity Marketing surveyed 1,237 affluent consumers from January 6-13, 2011, with an average income $308,700; age 43.9 years; 42 percent male/58 percent female, who use the internet, social media, and — new this year — mobile devices.

Through the research, we aimed to answer critical questions about today’s online environment so that luxury marketers can develop their online marketing strategies, including how best to use social media for building their brand and how to tap the rising power of mobile apps to connect with the affluent shopper.


 Affluents either like online shopping more or the same as in store. Only 11 percent of those surveyed say they prefer in store shopping 


Most surprisingly we found…

The most surprising finding in this study, and the one that no-one would expect to be true, is how passionately affluent luxury consumers like the online shopping experience. Further luxury consumers who shop online are also customers who spend the most in support of their luxury lifestyles.

Some key facts to put this finding into perspective:

- Virtually all affluents use the Internet. About 80 percent use social media, and social media use looks to have plateaued among affluents, with virtually no change reported in social media use from 2010 to 2011.
- Affluents that shop more actively online spend more in all luxury shopping, both online and in-store. Affluents that shop online are luxury brands’ best customers and best prospects.
- Affluents value Internet shopping most for its convenience, ability to shop 24/7 and its time saving aspects
- Affluents either like online shopping more or the same as in store. Only 11 percent of those surveyed say they prefer in store shopping. These shoppers are eager to meet their favourite brands online.


 68 percent of affluents said they used the Internet to buy a product or service in 2010; in 2011 the percentage jumped to 92 percent 


Some of the less surprising findings were…

- Affluents shop online most often through their computers. Mobile is more likely to be used by for social networking. As of yet, mobile hasn’t reached critical mass for shopping.
- Books, electronics and clothing are the key products affluents shop for online.


Since the last study…

Between 2010 and 2011 we found a dramatic increase in use of the Internet in all aspects of luxury consumers’ lifestyles has been noted. For example 68 percent of affluents said they used the Internet to buy a product or service in 2010; in 2011 the percentage had jumped to 92 percent.

- Amazon, eBay, Groupon, Overstock and Zappos are affluents favourite websites. Young affluents are most active on the flash shopping sites.


If we were to conduct this study in 12 months time, I would expect…

I would expect more use by older affluents in their use of social media to connect with luxury brands. So far the primary use of social media is to socialize. In the latest study we found:

- On social media, it is important to note that its use has virtually remained the same from 2010-2011. Facebook is by far the most active social media platform for affluents. The business/professionally-oriented LinkedIn site and Twitter are tied as a distant second.

- Social media users tend to skew younger, but still a majority of mature affluents are active on social media.

- Social media is used socially, not commercially. Affluents use social media most to hear what friends and family are doing; to share news with same; and to reconnect with old friends.

- While few affluents use social media to engage in shopping related activities, since 2010 more affluents are using social media for shopping. For example, in 2010 only 6 percent used social media for coupons; in 2011 12 percent have done the same.


 Affluents shop online most often through their computers. Mobile is more likely to be used by for social networking 


If readers remember only one thing it should be…

Marketing starts with understanding the customer. So luxury brands that want to be successful marketing their goods and services to the affluent need to invest in understanding the needs, desires and motivations of their target customer. This report will help brands gain new insight and understanding about the affluent customers that want to meet their brands online, either through their internet website, through social media like Facebook or increasingly via mobile devices.





Luxury Society invites members to learn more about Unity Marketing’s full report regarding Affluent Consumers and How They Use the Internet, Social Media and Mobile Devices. Please click here.

For more information regarding the research, please contact Pam Danziger.


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Unity Marketing is a boutique market research firm specialising in consumer insights for marketers and retailers that sell luxury goods and experiences to the ‘masses as well as the classes.’ Unity delve into the psychology that motivates and empowers luxury consumers in the marketplace, investigating ‘why people buy.’

www.unitymarketingonline.com

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