NEW YORK: Affluent consumers are significantly more likely to buy online and are less affected by seasonal factors than their non-affluent counterparts, a new study has shown.

The Affluent Online Shopper Index from Martini Media compared the shopping habits of affluent consumers, defined as those with a household income in excess of $100,000, and non-affluent consumers during the last quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013.

The Luxury Daily reported that affluent consumers were 47% more likely than non-affluent consumers to have made an online purchase during the first quarter of 2013.

In addition, affluent consumers continued, after the 2012 Christmas holiday season, to purchase products and services online throughout the first quarter of 2013.

"The affluents are leading the spending charge online," said Michael Goldberg, senior director of marketing and communications at Martini Media. "Brands will need to understand how to talk to this audience in an online environment."

He added that it was significant that while most people took a break from buying after the holiday season, the affluent continued spending.

The report said they spent 41% more on individual purchases, whose average price was $184.

Perhaps unexpectedly, affluent shoppers spent the most money online on events and movie tickets in the first quarter, averaging $171 in this category.

This was followed by apparel, accessories and jewellery ($163), electronics and computing ($155), home and living ($122) and general services ($113).

Goldberg noted that the data showed how important ecommerce was to affluent consumers, who were prepared to buy a wide variety of items online.

"For them to purchase items as mundane as movie tickets shows that this audience truly counts on being digitally connected to guide their everyday leisure activities," he said.

Data sourced from Luxury Daily; additional content by Warc staff