How Affluent Consumers Use the Internet, Social Media and Mobile Devices
An in-depth profile of the online luxury customer
A new trend report tells you who is using the internet to access your brand and how they are connecting online -- through a computer or mobile device, at the company website or through social media or via mobile apps.
Today's luxury marketer may never see his or her best customer. Instead, many affluent consumers are turning to the internet to investigate brands, form connections and make purchases. As they do, they are turning the world of marketing luxury upside down.
To better understand the online shopping landscape, Unity Marketing just publised a new trend report, Affluent Consumers and How They Use the Internet, Social Media and Mobile Devices. It reports results of a new survey among 1,237 affluent consumers from January 6-13, 2011 (avg. income $308,700; age 43.9 yrs; 42 percent male/58 percent female) who use the internet, social media, and -- new this year -- mobile devices.
It answers these critical questions about today's online environment so that luxury marketers can develop their online marketing strategies, including how best to use social media for building their brand and how to tap the rising power of mobile apps to connect with the affluent shopper:
- How often do affluent consumers use the Internet in support of luxury goods and services purchases, what do they buy online, how much do they spend?
- And key for marketers today, how the affluent customers are accessing luxury online -- via computers or mobile; through company websites, social media or through mobile apps?
- When do they turn to the Internet and why they use it?
- What are their favorite luxury websites and what specifically do they value about their favorite websites?
- How do affluent luxury shoppers use social media to learn about luxury brands, share information about luxury brands, and connect with people with similar outlooks on luxury brands?
- What turns them on about using the Internet for luxury purchasing and research?
The new report tracks the trends in affluent's use of the internet. It compares the most current 2011 data with data gathered during 2010 and 2007 to paint a picture of the changing landscape of online action and interaction.
Mobile Apps: Real data about how affluents are using mobile devices to connect with luxury brands
This year's report includes an in-depth look at how affluent consumers use their mobile devices to shop, interact, form relationships, and learn more about their favorite luxury brands.
The investigation includes information on use of mobile devices, use of apps, willingness to pay for apps, and loyalty to mobile apps from luxury brands.
Social Media: How affluents use social media, plus track trends in social media usage in the past year
On social media, the following details about affluents use of social media were gathered:
- Whether they have profiles on any social media sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, and on which of their social media sites are they most active.
- How frequently they log onto their most active social networking site and how many people they are connected with.
- Why they use social media, such as to share photos, to reconnect with old friends and classmates, to get news, professional networking, to learn about brands/companies/products, etc.
- Specific ways they have used social media, for example whether they have become or currently are a fan or follower of a brand, used social networks to learn about products or brands, etc.
- For those affluents who are connected or have been connected with a brand, what influenced them most to connect to the brand, such as insider news, interact with community of people who like the brand, get coupons, etc. Click here to download a sample page from the report about why affluents friend brands in social media.
- Specific uses of Facebook and Twitter and for those not connected with a brand, their likelihood to do so in the next year.
- Use of advertising on social media sites, such as clicking through.
- Whether ever bought a product because of social media interaction, such as customer review, receipt of an email, blog post, etc.
Internet Shopping: What luxury marketers need to know about their customers who shop online
- The special investigation questions designed to help luxury marketers and brands better use their websites to attract and retain the affluent shoppers, includes:
- How affluents use the internet via either computers or mobile devices in the past three months, such as shopping, researching purchases, getting gift ideas, connecting with friend, travel plans, watching video content, local news etc.
- How many hours on a weekly basis they typically use the internet for personal interests and activities, as well as for shopping-related activities.
- About internet shopping, what product and/or service categories they are most likely to use the internet to access and how much in total they spend on the internet making purchases in the study period
- How they find a website for shopping, such as internet search, experience with website from a store that they know, experience with online-only etail site, promotional link, etc.
- Features of importance that attract affluents to internet shopping, such as convenience, price comparisons, product research, finding brands can't easily find in a store, etc.
- About websites devoted to luxury brands and the features of most importance to attract the affluent shopper, such as product descriptions, pictures, return policy, customer ratings, etc.
- How online shopping compares to in-store, whether the affluents surveyed like online better than in-store or vice versa. The results will surprise you!
- A detailed list of websites and flash websites used in the study period, including etailers such as Amazon.com, eBay.com and net-a-porter, as well as flash sites such as Gilt.com, Hautelook, Rue LaLa, etc.
Demographics of those Surveyed
In the survey the average age of respondents was 443.9 years and average household income was $308,700, net wealth $9.2 million. One-third of the affluents polled were classified as 'ultra-affluents,' those at the top 2% of U.S. households with incomes of $250,000.
Virtually all respondents use the internet for personal uses, including shopping. Further over 80% of affluents are social media users.
A segment called 'heavy-users' were identified as important for luxury marketers when planning internet and social media strategy. The heavy users are affluents who used the internet for four or more hours per week for shopping purposes.
(Note: the average number of hours for all respondents was 5 hours -- up from 4 hours on average in 2010 -- thus the segment of heavy users are those who spent more than the average amount of time shopping on the internet.)