Affluent youth are big online shoppers

16 September 2013
NEW YORK: Young and wealthy consumers who regard themselves as influencers shop online on a daily basis and are receptive to mobile advertisements, a new survey has said.

The Affluent Influencers report from iProspect, a digital marketing company, gathered data from 4,855 affluent adults with a household income of at least $100,000 and then looked specifically at the group who designated themselves as "influencers".

It found that while the typical affluent millennial shopped online daily, their older counterparts did so less often. Gen Xers made their purchases weekly and Baby Boomers shopped online monthly, on average.

Andrea Wilson, director of digital strategy and luxury practice lead at iProspect, said it was unsurprising that digital played an important role in these consumers' lifestyles. "But this research shows how much more intense the digital footprint is to this group," she added.

Speaking to Luxury Daily, Wilson said: "This should be a call to action to luxury brands to ensure they think about how to engrain their brand into their target consumers' daily lives."

But levels of digital interaction varied with age. While affluent millennials were receptive to mobile advertising, Baby Boomers were unlikely to engage with such ads.

In part, this divergence reflects differing device usage, with affluent millennials and Gen Xers preferring mobile or tablet devices and Baby Boomers more likely to continue with a laptop or desktop computer.

Media consumption habits were mixed. For example, millennials were prepared to pay for access to news online, something that the other two groups were not. But around a third of each group read printed media products.

While 62% of affluent Baby Boomers watched broadcast TV, this proportion fell to 44% among millennials and 46% among Gen Xers.

In their role as influencers, affluent millennials were most likely to dispense advice on luxury goods, fashion and apparel, while Gen Xers were doing so on luxury goods and home décor.

The focus of affluent Baby Boomers in this regard was towards cars, financial matters and home décor brands.

"The most interesting and surprising finding is the connection and similarity between the millennials and Baby Boomer affluent influencers," said Wilson.

"For example, they are both very passionate in their lifestyle choices and attitudes, while Gen X affluent influencers are generally more middle of the road in their responses."

Data sourced from Luxury Daily, iProspect; additional content by Warc staff
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