The Rising Importance of Digital Media and Online Consumer Research is Changing How Brands Find Affluent Audiences
New York, NY (February 9, 2015) – The Internet is reshaping every aspect of luxury purchases, from consumer inspiration and research to brand sales and marketing, according to The Martini Report: The Affluent Audience Online (Vol.2: Luxury Goods). The research report was released today by Martini Media, the leader in engaging affluent audiences online, and features insights on luxury purchases and digital behavior among affluent consumers. The research was conducted by Ipsos MediaCT, a firm recognized for its expertise in research on affluent consumers and luxury markets.
“The Internet continues to be an integral part of affluent consumers’ lives, including how they make decisions on luxury purchases,” said Erik Pavelka, C.E.O. of Martini Media. “From a luxury perspective, Affluents are inspired by what they read and watch on enthusiast websites; they ensure quality and value by doing online research; they act as brand ambassadors by sharing their passions and product experiences online.”
The study details luxury interests and online engagement among several high-earning segments, and in particular focuses on the Hyper Affluent (the 3-4% of Americans with at least $250,000 in annual household income). Key findings include:
- Luxury purchases are heavily researched: 83% of Hyper Affluents who purchased luxury goods in the past year did online research before coming to a decision.
- Digital is the top influence: When asked where they get ideas and inspiration regarding luxury purchases, online outlets top the list. This is in stark contrast to most marketplace categories, where research shows that retail stores and recommendations from family/friends are the most widely-cited purchase influencers.
- Online luxury purchasing is widespread: 69% of Hyper Affluents are very comfortable purchasing luxury products and services online, with 55% planning to do so again in the coming year.
- Luxury inspires passion and sharing: Among Hyper Affluents who purchased luxury goods in the past year, 44% agree “I really enjoy talking about my favorite luxury brands with others,” and 32% have participated in an online forum, written a blog or posted on a social media site about a brand they are passionate about. Both of these figures are significantly higher among younger Affluents.
- Luxury continues evolving: 63% of Hyper Affluents who purchased luxury in the past year agree, “The definition of luxury is not the same as it was five years ago.” Hyper Affluents increasingly prefer luxury products that are elegant and minimalist, as opposed to flashy or ornate; they also increasingly focus on authentically rare experiences, as opposed to luxury offerings described as exclusive, prestigious or status-oriented. Quality matters above all; when undecided about what luxury product to purchase, quality is the top tie-breaker, well ahead of price, consumer reviews, or brand.
- Multimedia matters: Among Hyper Affluents who made a luxury purchase in the past year, 61% agree that videos in digital ads really help bring the brand to life, and 41% would probably buy more online if they could speak or video chat with a sales consultant while online.
With the increasing importance not only of e-commerce for luxury sales, but of online brand and product research, many companies across luxury fashion and retail are investing more resources into their digital presence. “Affluent consumers have high expectations for luxury brands when it comes to digital marketing,” said Pavelka, “And it’s becoming more clear every day that having a strong online presence, a clear brand voice and an association with specific publishers, is a necessity.”
Methodology: The survey was conducted online by Ipsos MediaCT from January 5-12, 2015 among 882 adults aged 18+ with at least $75,000 in annual household income; the sample included 145 Hyper Affluent consumers, defined as those with at least $250,000 in annual household income. The data were weighted to reflect U.S. Census figures to ensure representative results. A full White Paper detailing the findings is available upon request.
About Martini Media:
Founded in 2008, Martini Media specializes in helping the world’s most prestigious brands engage the most affluent and influential online. Leveraging proprietary insights on how and where the affluent consume media, as well as unmatched access to the passion-based, niche sites this audience interacts with, Martini provides highly efficient, targeted reach into the affluent market. Headquartered in San Francisco, Martini has offices in New York, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles and London. Visit www.martinimediainc.com to learn more.
About Ipsos MediaCT
Ipsos MediaCT is the market research specialization within Ipsos built to reach, engage and more effectively understand today’s digitally-driven consumer in the fast moving media, content and technology space. We work with leading companies in technology, entertainment and all sectors of media – TV, online, print, mobile, outdoor, radio – helping owners and advertisers to better understand different audiences, the content they consume, the channels they use to consume it and the technology they use to discover, talk about and access this content. Ipsos MediaCT is a specialist division within Ipsos, one of the world’s largest market research agencies. Ipsos has offices in 86 countries, generating global revenues of €1.7124 billion (2.274 B$) in 2013. Alongside media, content & technology, Ipsos has specialist practices in advertising, loyalty, marketing and public opinion research. Visit www.ipsos-na.com/media to learn more.