Affluent Shoppers Are Not So Digital in the UK - eMarketer

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Affluent Shoppers Are Not So Digital in the UK

In-store inspiration and in-store buying are the norm for UK affluents

October 15, 2015

Digital shopping is extremely common in the UK. This year, for example, eMarketer expects that a whopping 93.5% of internet users in the country will be digital shoppers—defined as those who have browsed, researched or compared products digitally via any device during the calendar year but have not necessarily bought digitally.

Affluent Internet Users in the UK and Worldwide Who Find Information/Inspiration In-Store vs. Digitally Prior to Making a Purchase, June 2015 (% of respondents)

Among at least one demographic grouping, though, the digital element of the shopping experience remains secondary. According to June 2015 research by Albatross Global Solutions in conjunction with Numberly as cited by Marketing Week, just 52% of affluent internet users in the UK found information or inspiration digitally prior to making a purchase. This was below the worldwide average of 58% and 6 percentage points behind the proportion who continued to find their inspiration in-store.

April 2015 data from Google and TNS, meanwhile, indicated that the UK was one of the few countries it tracked where the primary location for purchasing goods among internet users was more likely to be online than in-store—46% vs. 44%, respectively.

Primary Location/Channel Where Internet Users in Select Countries Purchase Products, April 2015 (% of respondents)

Of course, much digital shopping, and particularly buying, is undertaken with price in mind. The whole showrooming phenomenon is based on the concept of browsing in-store and finding the same products online at a discounted price.

Among affluents, though, price-sensitivity is clearly less of an issue. Indeed, the Albatross study found that 94% of affluent internet users who researched luxury products in-store then went on to buy them in-store. Even where there was a degree of digital research involved, only 12% took the digital purchase route.

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