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Giving Affluents the Luxury Treatment Online

Marketers must bring in-store attention to the web

Affluent consumers are the primary shoppers for many different online product categories and retailers, and their influence on ecommerce sales in general is heavy. Households with incomes of at least $100,000 made up about a third of all US retail ecommerce spending in Q2 2010, but they also accounted for two-thirds of ecommerce growth in that quarter, according to comScore.

“Marketers who sell high-end goods must understand how the shopping behavior and attitudes of affluent consumers are evolving,” said Jeffrey Grau, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report “Affluent Shoppers and Luxury Brand Retailers Online.”

Affluents’ share of online spending and ecommerce growth is disproportionate to their share of the population, based on data from American Express Publishing and Harrison Group that breaks out affluents into four categories. Divisions like these are becoming more important now that the recession has made even many wealthier consumers less likely to spend on luxury goods.

Affluent consumers expect luxury retailers’ websites to replicate the same shopping experience they offer in their stores. Two of the hallmarks of an exceptional luxury store are customer intimacy and elegant product presentations. Luxury retailers are challenged to mimic that experience online. Few of them are taking advantage of personalized product recommendations and other online tools that would reflect their understanding of their customers’ wants and needs.

“Wealthy consumers are among a new breed of online shoppers who are not easily swayed by marketing hype,” said Grau. “They feel empowered by the internet and diligently research online to find good deals and assess product quality. And they feel entitled to a superior online shopping experience with rich visual content and white-glove treatment.”

Check out today’s other article, “Many Mobile Web Experiences Frustrate Consumers.”

The full report, “Affluent Shoppers and Luxury Brand Retailers Online,” also answers these key questions:

  • How has the recession affected the luxury marketplace?
  • How have affluent consumers' online shopping habits evolved?
  • What kind of service do affluent consumers expect from online retailers?
  • How can luxury retailers create a better online shopping experience?
  • Which retailers excel at selling luxury goods online?

To purchase the report, click here. Total Access clients, log in and view the report now.

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