Affluents Spending More Online This Year

Brands that speak to affluent Americans are getting a healthy response and seeing more black ink on their balance sheets this year, especially if they have a strong digital strategy. The affluent are buying more, and shopping more online than they did last year, according to affluent-market advertising research firm Martini Media.

Martini Media's quarterly Affluent Online Shopping Index, expedited with comScore, revealed that people making $100,000 or more were 90% more likely to make a purchase online than non-affluent consumers, and they spent 8% more than those earning under $100,000; were 16% more likely to visit a luxury retail site, and spent 20% more on luxury retail sites.   

Affluent consumers spent 16% more on apparel, accessories and jewelry in the second quarter this year versus last; their event and movie ticket spend increased by 13%; spend on flowers, greetings and gifts increased 15%; and video games and console spend lifted by 20%, per the study. Also, shoppers making $100,000 or more spent 20% more in the second quarter this year versus last year. 



Income disparity is revealing itself on the digital showroom floor. The study says the gap in dealership site visitation between those making over $100,000 and those making under in visitation grew 6% percent versus the quarter last year, with the gap in auto search showing an 11% higher index for the affluent. 

The San Francisco-based research firm says the uptick in affluent online shopping and surfing also means more time spent with ads, an assertion based on research from Martini's partner, digital analytics company Moat. Their joint study measured something called "universal interaction rate," which Martini says measures a user's tendency to voluntarily engage with an ad. 

Moat reports that while the average universal interaction rate across all incomes as of the second quarter was 4.1%, the numbers were way higher for affluents. They topped out at 13% for retail ads; 10.3% for automotive ads; 9.5% for travel ads; and 6.1% for technology. The joint data also showed that affluent audiences spent 217% more time with retail ads than the average user, and 151% more time with auto ads. 

"It's very encouraging to see the affluent engaging with ads at such high levels across these diverse categories," said Jonah Goodhart, CEO and co-founder of Moat, in a statement. "We believe engagement and interaction activity are key metrics that matter for digital advertising, and it is a good sign to see the affluent, the audience that are typically the drivers of new trends and influencers on others, lead this trend."

"Couple Shopping Online" photo from Shutterstock.

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