The Affluent Male Is An Online Shopper

According to a new survey by iProspect. “The Affluent Male: What His Online Behavior Can Teach Luxury Brand Marketers,” there are 19 million affluent men on the internet, researching, shopping and spending at higher rates than ever before. iProspect defines an affluent male as being 18 years or older, with a household income of at least $100,000. 69 of the survey respondents had a HHI of $100K - $300K. 50% fell between the ages of 45 and 64.

The numbers tell a clear story, says the report.  The affluent male has come into his own, researching, sharing, and buying products online. The impact on sales figures is driving luxury brands to invest in line extensions and targeted marketing campaigns designed to reach this audience.

  • In March 2012, CNBC reported that the men’s luxury market is outperforming the women’s in all categories. Luxury menswear is on the leading edge of this growth trend. Bain & Company reported that this market segment is growing at a rate of about 14% per year, nearly double the pace of luxury women’s wear
  • Men’s Health and GfK Roper found that men are also more highly engaged than women when it comes to online product research, including reading and sharing reviews, comparing prices, and even “liking” brands on Facebook
  • The affluent male is doing significant research and buying online. All but 2% of the affluent males surveyed purchase products online. 70% prefer to research and buy online, versus researching online and purchasing in store. The majority of purchases are still made on PCs, but the affluent male is doing more research on mobile devices. 45% spend more than $4,000 per year, and 13% spend in excess of $30,000 annually

Seven out of 10 affluent males report seeing ads on a PC, while roughly one in three reports seeing ads on mobile devices. More importantly, a majority of affluent males are willing to engage with banner ads at least some of the time. Based on the survey respondents, the affluent male wants to see ads that are simple and to the point. He also has a preference for video and interactive ads, both of which are a great fit for highly visual luxury brands.

Search ads are an effective, relevant tool for capturing actively engaged affluent males, mostly from PCs, but mobile search is on the rise. The affluent male is not only searching via a variety of devices, but on a variety of web properties including a wide range of search engines.

When the survey respondents were asked to name their favorite luxury brands, responses included many of the best-known global brands. The affluent males cited quality, style, and fun as their top three reasons for selecting their favorite brands.

When asked to name the online advertisers they liked most, the affluent males named a broader range of brands, some of them from outside the luxury category. Brands like Apple, MSN, and Amazon were among the top 15.

Baby boomers are the largest consumer group in America:

  • 43% are between the ages of 45 and 64
  • 75% of the affluent males are 35 and older
  • 69% $100K - $300K income bracket
  • 6% $300K - $500K income bracket
  • 12% $500K - $1M income bracket
  • 13% $1M - $3M+ income bracket

The Baby Boomer demographic continues to control 70% of the total net worth of American households, seven trillion of wealth, and have more discretionary wealth in their empty nester years than any other age group.

  • The smallest age groups are 18-24 (1%) and 65+ (7%) with near equal allocations to the other nine age segments.
  • Affluent males are likely to hold a director-level or higher position (62%) with 21% in a president or c-level role.
  • A majority of affluent males work in mid-to-large-sized companies (minimum 250 employees) with 38% working for companies with 1,000 or more employees.

More demographic data from the report includes this information about affluent males:

  • 58% of the affluent males live in small households of 2-3 people (including themselves).
  • 52% live in households without children, many presumably because their children are grown and living on their own
  • The largest geo-locations of the affluent males in the survey were from the South (35%) and the Northeast (28%). The smallest geo-location represented was the Midwest (15%)
  • One in five affluent males resides in the South Atlantic (Delaware, Maryland, D.C., Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida).
  • The New England region (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut) skews toward affluent males, as does the Mid Atlantic (New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey) and East North Central region (Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio). 

Nearly 100% of the affluent males surveyed shop online and 27% of the group make purchases on a weekly basis. These results run contrary to traditional assumptions about males being less engaged in online shopping than females. Putting this common misconception aside opens additional possibilities for brand marketers, says the report.

  • 13% of this audience spends in excess of $30K online annually. Nearly half spend more than $4K a year online.
  • Four out of 10 affluent males who shopped online two or more times a week spent $30K+
  • 75% of less frequent purchasers (who only purchase online once a month), spent $500-$4K per year 

The high market penetration of smart phones and tablets means that online shoppers have many different ways to access and engage with their favorite brands.

  • According to a fall 2011 study commissioned by Google and implemented by Ipsos, only 38% of mobile subscribers own smartphones. In a February 2012 survey, Nielson reported 50%. The current iProspect survey shows that 77% of affluent males responded with owning a smartphone.
  • The Pew Internet Project reported a 50% increase in tablet ownership over the 2011 holiday season, from 10% to 19%, which falls short of the 50% ownership reported by the affluent males responding to the survey

Summary of Key Findings and conclusion:

The affluent male is very connected Engagement with these devices is high across the board. Among those who own devices, almost 100% of survey respondents report using their PCs and mobile smartphones at least daily. Tablet usage is on the rise with 85% of respondents reporting daily use.

  • 91% of respondents have daily access to a PC and half have daily access to a tablet
  • 77% have daily access to a mobile smartphone
  • Affluent males’ activity on mobile smartphones is highest in two areas, with 76% checking email and 63% looking at maps/ directions
  • 49%,of survey respondents report frequently checking sports scores or news events, 44% playing games and 46% researching products

The affluent male lives on all his devices. Your brand needs to live there, too.

The relationship between brand and customer is not linear; it is a complex collection of integrated touch points made on multiple devices and via multiple channels. To increase brand awareness and build loyal brand/customer relationships, marketers need to provide an integrated brand experience across all devices, opines the report.

For more information including the complete report in PDF format, please visit iProspect here.

Recommend (6) Print RSS