Social Shopping Sites Attract Young Internet-Savvy Shoppers With Money
How the Affluent Luxury Consumer Uses the Internet and Social Media
The social shopping site Woot (www.woot.com) is the very definition of "sticky". This site encourages users to check back every day to find the latest deal on a luxury item that is only available until stock or time runs out (each deal is only available until 11:59 p.m.).
Social shopping sites combine the best of both internet and bricks-and-mortar shopping experiences. "They offer the thrill of the hunt, the challenge of visiting time and again until the perfect item is found, and the satisfaction of landing a deal. Plus they are destinations of choice for the smart, savvy shopper. It is no wonder these sites are so popular among young affluents," says Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing.
According to a new report from Unity Marketing, How the Affluent Luxury Consumer Uses the Internet and Social Media: An In-Depth, one-in-three affluents surveyed (avg. income $239,300) have visited a social shopping site in the past three months. Social shopping sites are most popular among young affluent consumers under age 45. Some 43 percent of these young affluents use social shopping sites, compared to 33 percent of affluents as a whole.
Social shopping is catching on among the luxury 'cognoscenti'
Social shopping is a rapidly growing trend among the luxury 'cognoscenti,' spreading virally from one shopper-in-the-know to another. Affluent's use of social shopping rose from only 7 percent participation in 2007 to 33 percent in 2010. The new report identifies the most popular social shopping sites, a list lead by Woot, Gilt.com, Hautelook, and RueLaLa.
"Social shopping sites are going to continue to grow in popularity among the affluent market, especially among young affluents. They offer young affluents shopping experiences that they enjoy: quick action, limited access, and value pricing," says Danziger. "For luxury marketers targeting young affluents, these are the places to be."
This 59-page trend report, entitled How Affluent Luxury Consumers Use the Internet and Social Media, is based upon a survey of 1,614 affluent consumers (ag. income $239,300). It answers these critical questions for luxury marketers in order to plan their online marketing strategies, including how best to use social media for building their brand:
- 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?
- 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?
A total of 1,614 affluent consumers with incomes of $100,000 or more and who bought luxury goods or services in the fourth quarter were surveyed. from January 8-27, 2010. The result of this survey are compared with findings from similar studies conducted in third quarter of 2007 and 2005, so that four years of trends in luxury consumers use of the Internet can be measured and tracked.
In addition, a segment of extremely active Internet shoppers, called 'heavy users,' have been identified in this study. A detail analysis of their responses are included in this report.
- How affluents use the internet (e.g. shopping, researching purchases, getting gift ideas, connecting with friend, travel plans, etc.); total hours on a weekly basis they use the internet for personal interests and shopping-related activities.
- More about internet shopping, such as what attracts them to a website to shop; how much they spent online; features of importance when shopping online; what features a website devoted to luxury brands must offer its customers.
- 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!
- On social media, whether they have profiles on any social media site; which social media site they use most often; how frequently they long on; how many people they are connected with; why they use social media, such as to reconnect with old friends, professional networking, to learn about brands/companies/products, etc.
- If they were connected or friends with any brand and if they were likely to become friends in the future; about their use of advertising on social media sites; and whether they use social shopping sites, such as Gilt.com, Hautelook, Rue LaLa.
Demographics of those surveyed
In the survey the average age of respondents was 45.9 years and average household income was $239,300. Nearly 20% 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 nearly 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 about 4, thus the segment of heavy users are those who spent more than the average amount of time shopping on the internet.)
For media: Danziger available for interviews. Charts, tables and graphs detailing major findings in the report also are available.