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How Affluent Consumers are shopping online.


Dec 24, 2013

Online Shopping Patterns of the Affluent consumers

Whilst buying luxury products has always been about the experience that surrounds the purchase, a new wave of affluent customers has moved online. A growing number of luxury brands are now moving their well-known personal approach to the ever expanding ecommerce market.

This could be due to the fact that affluent consumers now spend more time online. Ipsos Media CT found that consumers in the US with a household income of more that 100,000 per annum time online increased by one quarter from 2011 to 2013. This is an increase from 32.8 hours a week to 41.6 hours per week.


Skip Brand, CEO of Martini Media, an affluents focused digital advertising and content platform provider believes, “These people who use online resources to save time. And they will spend money to save time.” Martini Media also reported that the average spending on luxury sites was up 20% in 2013.

American Express Publishing and Harrison Group found in a Q1 2013 survey that 48% of US households with an income of more than $100,000 discovered new luxury items whilst shopping online. This is almost equal to the 50% who discovered new products in-store.

A study from Luxury Institute in April 2013 that focused on multi-channel purchasing habits of US internet users of incomes of $150,000, showed 48% of sourced information about luxury fashion from a computer.


Whilst only a quarter purchased online, 72% stated they went to stores to get information and 62% would go to the store to purchase the item. This could be down to the reason, the fact that in limited- edition merchandise consumers prefer to touch and feel the product.

A new eMarketer report titled “The Luxury Consumer: Shoppers Lead Brands to Digital Channels”, states that whilst retailers initially felt apprehensive about ecommerce for their products the development of the market have moved them towards a greater presence online. The full report also answers these key questions:

  • What digital experiences do luxury consumers value?
  • What digital tools do consumers use to connect with luxury brands? How often are they actually purchasing luxury products online?
  • How has luxury brands responded to consumers’ increased use of digital channels?
  • How are luxury brands personalizing the digital shopping experience?

In the Final Analysis

  • The exclusivity a brand offers a customer—whether it’s limited-edition merchandise, a first look at a product or personalized service—is a key element of the luxury experience, according to a new eMarketer report
  • Affluents with household income of more than $100,000 per year, the amount of time spent online grew nearly one-quarter from 2011 to 2013
  • At 32.8 hours per week to 41.6 hours per week
  • Average spending on luxury sites was up 20% year over year in Q2 2013.
  • In a Q1 2013 survey by American Express Publishing and Harrison Group, 48% of US affluents with income of more than $100,000 said they discovered new luxury products while shopping online
  • A rate almost equal to the 50% who said they discovered new products while shopping in-store.
  • US internet users with incomes of at least $150,000, 48% of respondents sourced information about luxury fashion online via a computer.
  • Only about a quarter actually completed the purchase online
  • 72% of affluents said they went to brick-and-mortar stores to get information on luxury fashion items
  • 62% said they went to a store to complete a purchase.

This report is available to eMarketer corporate subscription clients only. eMarketer clients, Read more

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