Wealthy Americans, Especially The Upper Tier, Eschew Retail For Digital

For young, wealthy Americans online shopping is big, but so are authenticity, quality, and memorable experiences, per a new report from Martini Media, “The Affluent Audience Online,” with research performed by Ipsos MediaCT.

The focus of the study is the demographic segment comprising the 3 - 4% of Americans with at least $250,000 in annual household income.

These consumers, which the study dubs hyper-affluent, favor the web, with 83% of those who purchased luxury goods in the past year doing so online. The web is also where they get ideas for purchases of luxury items, a stark departure from the hoi polloi, who continue to get ideas at retail and from family and friends.

This doesn't mean the three-percenters don't talk about their purchases. The study says that among those who have purchased luxury goods in the past year, 44% agree that “I really enjoy talking about my favorite luxury brands with others,” and 32% said they had participated in an online forum, written a blog or posted on a social media site about a brand they are passionate about. And those numbers go up as the age goes down. 

And good news for Swedish furniture: “hyper affluent” study respondents, especially younger ones, said they prefer luxury products that are “elegant and minimalist,” versus “flashy or ornate.” And they are more likely to vacation in Curacao than at Club Med Curacao, as they say they favor authentic experiences versus anything that says “exclusive,” or tout themselves as prestigious, or are ostentatiously status-oriented. And quality of product or experience matters more than any other consideration point.

As far as advertising goes, the richer (so to speak) the media, the better. Sixty-one percent of those surveyed said video-enhanced ads help bring the brand to life, and 41% said they would probably buy more online if they could speak or video chat with a sales consultant while online. 

“Affluent consumers have high expectations for luxury brands when it comes to digital marketing,” said Erik Pavelka, CEO of Martini Media, in a release on the study. “And it’s becoming more clear every day that having a strong online presence, a clear brand voice and an association with specific publishers, is a necessity.”

Ipsos MediaCT polled 882 adults aged over 18 with at least $75,000 in annual household income. Among them, 145 were  Hyper Affluent consumers.

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1 comment about "Wealthy Americans, Especially The Upper Tier, Eschew Retail For Digital".
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  1. Erin Read from Creating Results, February 18, 2015 at 8:12 a.m.

    How young is young? The methodology in this article says simply "over 18."