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The Rich Are Different: How Affluent Shoppers Behave Online

by Ayaz Nanji  |  
June 27, 2013

Affluent shoppers were 47% more likely than shoppers earning less than $100K annually to make an online purchase in the first quarter of 2013, and on average they spent 41% more on individual purchases, according to a recent report by Martini Media and comScore.

The gap between affluent and non-affluent spending grew in 1Q13 compared with the December 2012 holiday period, when affluent consumers were only 31% more likely to buy and spent only 15% more.

Below, additional key findings from the Affluent Online Shopper Index, which tracked of the online shopping behavior of those with household incomes greater than $100K annually in 4Q12 and 1Q13.

A Taste for Luxury 

  • Affluent consumers in 1Q13 were 7% more likely to visit luxury retail sites and made 16% more visits per visitor than those earning under $100K.
  • Affluent shoppers were 74% more likely to make a purchase on a luxury site, and they spent an average of $184 per purchase—51% more than those earning under $100K.
  • These gaps were much smaller during the 2012 holiday period, when affluent users were only 47% more likely to buy on a luxury site and spent only 25% more than non-affluent shoppers.

What They're Buying

Affluent spending in 1Q13 indexed especially high in the apparel, accessories and jewelry, general services, and event and movie tickets categories; that was consistent with previous-quarter data. 

In 1Q13, affluent consumers spent on average...

  • $171 on event and movie tickets
  • $163 on apparel, accessories and jewelry
  • $155 on electronics and computing
  • $122 on home and living
  • $113 on general services

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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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  • by Bill G. Thu Jun 27, 2013 via web

    It's so much easier dealing with affluent customers, they usually have the least amount of questions and will simply by without needing too much communication.

  • by Gracious store Thu Jun 27, 2013 via web

    Affluent people tend to shop online more as compared to those within average income bracket and those below average . Those within the average and below average income brackets often look for deals in form of coupons and free shipping. Every online retailer would prefer to have only the affluent as their customers, but unfortunately they make up only 1% of the total population

  • by Mathis C. Fri Jun 28, 2013 via web

    Interesting article. Thanks for confirming my gut opinions on the wealthy. Personally, I've been wondering if there is an opportunity for tribe/affinity selling websites. While there maybe / are (?) aggregated retail sites targeting particular consumers I am not aware of any.

    While catering to the wealthy as an affinity group is possibly the obvious opportunity, I wonder if there is a greater opportunity based on personality / interest. I've recently decided to tried to put this to the test and will expand to different targets if this strategy turns out to have merit:

    Wish me luck.

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