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Mobile Shopping Catches on with Affluent Consumers

Half of younger affluents have adopted mobile shopping

One of the big attractions of online shopping among affluent consumers has always been convenience. An October 2012 study of affluent shoppers by Unity Marketing confirms this: The greatest percentage of respondents cited convenience as a “very important” feature of online shopping among affluent consumers. But among a new demographic of affluent shoppers, mobile shopping might prove to be more convenient still.

According to Unity Marketing, mobile shopping activity among affluent luxury shoppers in the US saw substantial increases in 2012; the percentage of respondents shopping or purchasing via mobile increased from 22% to 38%. Additionally, the number of affluents doing some kind of mobile product research more than doubled, increasing from 23% to 51%.

The 38% of respondents who considered themselves mobile shoppers did not approach the considerable 98% of affluents who told Unity that they were online shoppers. But robust interest among younger affluent consumers, in particular, suggests that mobile luxury shopping is on the rise. Unity Marketing found that 49% of affluent consumers under 45 had shopped or made a purchase via mobile phone, compared with 22% of those 45 and over.

Many luxury marketers are preparing to engage their high-income targets through mobile. According to an analysis by L2 Think Tank, 70% of 100 select luxury brands had at least one iOS mobile app in January 2013—the same percentage that had one in December 2011. Apps, however, have proliferated: The number available in the Apple Store increased from 196 to 238. This increase reflects, at least in part, an increase in app development for tablets. According to L2 Think Tank, 53% of the new iOS apps developed were either iPad native apps or apps containing versions for both iPad and iPhone.

Another significant change in 2013 is that significantly more luxury brands produced Android versions of their apps—a sign that luxury marketers believe that Android may be catching on with their affluent targets. In December 2011, 22% of sampled luxury marketers had 28 Android apps available for download. As of January of this year, 37% of luxury marketers had 65 Android app offerings.

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Check out today’s other articles, “Why Are People Seeking Health Info Online?” “UK Online Sales Undented by Economic Squeeze,” and “In the Middle East, Twitter Rules.”

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