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The Mobile Apps That Affluents Download

Wealthy smartphone owners use an average of seven apps on a regular basis

September 27, 2010

More than one-third of wealthy Americans have downloaded apps to their smartphones and another 11% plan to do so in the near future, according to the Luxury Institute’s September 2010 “Wealth Report.”

The Institute polled smartphone owners earning at least $150,000 per year (the average income was $247,000) and found that 61% of them paid for at least some of their apps. Similarly to average smartphone owners, affluent users polled downloaded weather-related, news and gaming apps the most.

Leading Mobile Applications Downloaded by US Affluent* Smartphone Users**, 2010 (% of respondents)

The survey found that 40% of affluents downloaded travel apps and 39% business-related apps. The findings suggest that there are plenty of opportunities for luxury marketers to do in-app advertising and content sponsorships within apps. Interestingly, the majority of affluents were willing to pay for apps and spent an average of $84 in the past year on downloads. Further, the survey found 24% the affluents polled are willing to pay between $2.00 and $4.99 for an app.

Downloading apps is only part of the equation—wealthy smartphone users report using an average of seven apps on a regular basis, with 57% using five or fewer apps at several points during the day. Repeat usage is the key for luxury brands looking to get into the palm of their customers’ hands.

Mobile Applications Most Frequently Used by US Affluent* Smartphone Users**, 2010 (% of respondents)

The survey noted that nearly one-third of affluents who have downloaded apps have downloaded consumer brand apps for shopping and for product and store location information. Affluents are using mobile comparison shopping sites as well, Milton Pedraza, CEO and founder of the Luxury Institute, told eMarketer.

High-end brands such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Ralph Lauren, Louis Vuitton, Chanel and iLuxury were the top branded apps downloaded by affluents. The top three functions performed with these mobile apps, each cited by 63% of those who had downloaded them, are clicking through to a website, communicating with others and locating a store. More than half (53%) of users look up product or service information and 30% actually make purchases via an application.

Retailers and brands that have mobile apps create favorable impressions with affluents—56% of wealthy respondents said they view brands with mobile apps as “innovative” and “cutting-edge,” according to the survey.

—Tobi Elkin

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Check out today’s other article, “Retargeting Used by Marketers for Cost-Effective Brand Lift.”

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