Men in households where annual income exceeds $100,000 outpace spending on luxury items online compared to women with the same financial status -- but when it comes to how ads influence clicks, only concise information leads to the sale.
That's according to the iProspect study "The Affluent Male: What His Online Behavior Can Teach Luxury Brand Marketers." The 26-question survey found that 40% of respondents shop online at least twice weekly, and those who shop multiple times spend in excess of $30,000 annually.
Findings from the study reveal a multichannel approach to buying. Affluent males tend to take the time to research products online before making a purchase on a mobile or a desktop device. More engaged with search than the general public, 96% use search to learn more about products. Search ads -- especially those on mobile devices -- appear to be effective. About 71% report clicking on sponsored search links either sometimes, usually or always.
Nearly 75% of affluent males prefer to research and buy online, rather than research online and purchase in the store. Half of the respondents go online to learn more about products after they have seen them somewhere else. So it's no surprise that men, in general, tend to research products prior to making a purchase. Search engines on desktops and mobile devices have made this easier. Seeing a product in the store, print or on television also triggers online research.
The study reveals that research before buying varies by category. The luxury product information most sought by affluent males online includes travel, apparel and accessories, as well as cars and other vehicles. Travel leads among the items most frequently purchased online, followed by apparel.
Marketers know that research on engines and brand Web sites leads to clicks on ads, but most affluent males see ads on PCs more often than on mobile devices.
Seven out of 10 affluent males admit to seeing ads on a PC, while about one in three report seeing ads on a mobile device. The study finds that nearly 20% report they have never seen ads on any device.
When asked to name the sites where they would advertise if they were in charge of marketing a luxury brand, the affluent males named the top five: Google (12%), Yahoo (11%), Facebook (8%), Bing (7%), and MSN (5%). The majority of recommendations include a variety of search engines, portals and shopping sites, such as Amazon.com, eBay, AOL, CNN, ESPN, NYTimes.com, WSJ.com, Twitter, Fox, and Forbes.com.
Affluent males participating in the study also tend to prefer video ads. When asked to rate video, search, banner, and Facebook ads, 32% of the group preferred video, followed by 30% for search; and the least favorite, Facebook, with 20%.