All Millionaires Are Not Alike

According to The Shullman Research Center, with a special focus on affluent consumers, drivers of both the luxury and the wealth-related markets, 62% of millionaires say their favorite place to shop is Amazon!  Millionaires in this study have a personal net worth (assets minus debts) of $1 million or more, comprising about 9% of all (236.9 million) adults, or 20 million adult consumers.

Further, American millionaires (18+ in age) shop based on the generation to which they belong. Baby Boomers (10 million, ages 49 to 67) are currently the largest millionaire segment, while others include Millennials,18 to 33 years old; Gen-X'ers, 34 to 48; and the Silent Generation is 68 or older.

The proportion that each generation represents among millionaires is:

  • Silent Generation (7%)
  • Millennials (23%)
  • Baby Boomers (49%)
  • Gen-X (20%)

Source: Shullman Pulse, May 2014

Though the millionaires report that their favorite place to shop is Amazon (62%), Walmart (54%) and Target (49%), those preferences diverge along generational lines, with Gen-X'ers preferring Walmart to Amazon, while among Millennials, Macy's (57%) registers a strong second to Amazon.

And, when researching their buying plans, Millennials lead the way using digital means to do their research and searching (90%), while a strong percentage of Boomers (23%) prefer visiting stores for their research, and 15% of Gen-X'ers opt for calling.

When the millionaires' research is done, 65% of Gen-X'ers prefer online buying, while 52% of Millennials prefer in-store buying. So much for stereotypes about the digital crowd! And, both Millennials (46%) and Boomers (48%) are uncomfortable purchasing on a smartphone, whereas Gen-X'ers (13%) have no problem with that.

Overall, concludes the report, when taking measure of the millionaire marketplace, look beyond their wallets and check out their ages. The Insights brief from Schullman reviews and reports on millionaires' current behaviors regarding:

  • Top 25 stores millionaires shopped during past 12 months
  • Preferred method of researching products and services of interest to them
  • Preferred method of actually purchasing products and services of interest to them
  • Methods of purchasing that millionaires are not comfortable using

Among all millionaires, Amazon is the #1 store shopped during the past 12 months, followed by Walmart and Target. The popularity of these three stores is in large part driven by the Baby Boomer generation, who make up about one half of all millionaires and who are most likely to shop there. Notably, though, Walmart is #1 among Gen-X millionaires. Stores that appeal to 40% or more of a generation are highlighted in yellow. Clearly there are some notable generational differences (e.g., Macy's, Costco, Groupon, Apple, and Sears).

Top 15 Preferred Shopping Stores Among Millionaires (% of Age Segment)

 

Total

Millennials

Gen-X

Boomers

Amazon

62%

64%

41%

67%

Walmart

54

48

49

55

Target

49

43

28

58

Best Buy

38

42

39

38

Macy's

37

57

23

34

Costco

35

39

23

40

The Home Depot

33

14

37

34

Lowe's

33

20

35

33

eBay

31

35

29

32

JCPenney

29

33

11

38

Kohl's

29

19

24

37

Groupon

26

9

18

40

Apple

25

40

30

17

Sears

25

41

9

25

Barnes & Noble

23

21

11

30

Source: SchullmanResearch, May 2014

As digital shopping increases among millionaires, nine out of ten Millennial millionaires prefer to research products and services of interest to them online, especially on a computer, compared with fewer than eight out of ten of the older generations. Boomers are the most likely age group to visit stores to do their research, and Gen-X'ers are the most likely generation to call a store.

Millionaires Preference For Researching Products and Services (% of Age Segment)

 

Total

Millennials

Gen-X

Boomers

Any Online

80%

90%

79%

75%

Online on a computer

73

82

70

69

Online on a tablet

6

7

6

6

Online on a smartphone

1

1

4

1

In person at a store

14

4

5

23

By phone/by calling the store

4

1

15

0

Through a personal shopper

2

3

0

1

By mail order

1

2

0

1

Source: SchullmanResearch, May 2014

When it comes to actually making purchases, preferences change, with almost two thirds of Gen-X'ers preferring to use the Internet, compared with less than half the other generations. Millennials and Boomers are currently more likely to actually make their purchase in person at a store.

Millionaires Purchasing Location Preferences (% of Age Segment)

 

Total

Millennials

Gen-X

Boomers

Any Online

47%

39%

65%

46%

Online on a computer

38

30

49

39

Online on a tablet

4

4

4

4

Online on a smartphone

5

5

12

2

In person at a store

48

52

25

53

By phone/by calling the store

2

8

0

0

Through a personal shopper

2

1

8

1

By mail order

1

0

2

0

Source: SchullmanResearch, May 2014

Making purchases "through a personal shopper" tops the list of shopping methods that make millionaire consumers uncomfortable. Gen-X millionaires are the least uncomfortable of the generations with this way of shopping. Almost one half of millionaire Millennials and Boomers are uncomfortable shopping online through a smartphone, though Gen-X'ers do not share this point of view. And, only a very small proportion of all the millionaire generations are uncomfortable using a computer to shop, says the report.

Most Uncomfortable Shopping Methods of Millionaires (% of Age Group)

 

Total

Millennials

Gen-X

Boomers

Through a personal shopper

49%

46%

29%

54%

Online on a smartphone

41

46

13

48

By phone/by calling the store

32

29

16

44

Online on a tablet

22

35

18

18

By mail order

18

25

17

17

In person at a store

8

7

29

1

Online on a computer

7

7

12

5

None of these

11

4

15

13

Source: SchullmanResearch, May 2014

Overall, the message to the marketing/media community, concludes the report, is that when taking measure of the millionaire marketplace, one size does not fit all.

For additional information from Schullman Research, please visit here.

 

 

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