Online Is Where Retail Growth Is & the Affluent Are the Big Spenders at Retail: Marry the Two -- Online + Affluent -- for Marketing Success, Advises Unity Marketing

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What kinds of online experiences do today’s affluent consumers — and tomorrow’s — want? A new research report from Unity Marketing gives an overview of how affluents are using the internet today and data to help brands map a path to the future online affluent customer.

GAFO & Electronic Retail Sales, 2005-2014

Affluent shoppers today, and tomorrow, will want the kind of experiences that online retail gives them.

What kinds of online experiences do today’s affluent consumers — and tomorrow’s — want? A new Unity Marketing report, Affluents Online: A Generational Perspective, explores just that. It gives an overview of how affluents are using the internet today and data to help brands map a path to the future online affluent customer.

Since 2005, retail sales grew 17% — Electronic shopping more than doubled in the same time

“Online e-commerce is the growth darling at retail, continuing a steady upward trend even during the Great Recession,” Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and author of the new report says. While GAFO retail, which tracks the sales of the types of stores found in the nation’s malls, shopping centers and main streets, grew 17% from 2005-2014, the sales for electronic retailers more than doubled in the same time period.

“Yes, online retail still is dwarfed by traditional retail, but the trend is clear – Affluent shoppers today, and tomorrow, will want the kind of experiences that online retail gives them,” Danziger explains.

“The future of luxury retail is being shaped by the young affluents, especially HENRYs aged 24-44 years, who have not yet reached the level of affluence to which they aspire. The new study delves into what the young High-Earners-Not-Rich-Yet consumers expect their online experiences to deliver, so that brands can be positioned online, where they will be looking as they grow in affluence and spending power.”

Affluent (top 20%) are the heavy-lifters in the economy

Looking across the shopper landscape, Unity Marketing's research reveals the affluent shoppers, those with incomes at the top 20% of U.S. households, are the most coveted of shoppers.

While they number some 27.6 million households, out of the nation’s total 123 million, their spending potential is huge. Affluents’ spending is projected to reach $6 trillion in 2015, contributing nearly 50% of the total $12.1 trillion of total U.S. personal consumption projected in 2015, as reported by the latest BEA estimates.

And where do the affluent heavy-lifters like to shop most? Online, of course. In Unity Marketing’s latest Affluent Consumer Tracking Study (ACTS) Shopper Track survey, which examines affluents’ shopping behavior, online shopping tops the list of their favorite shopping experiences, used by 72% of the affluent high-end shoppers surveyed in the three-month study period. The next most popular destination is discount department stores and mass-merchants, used by 65% of those surveyed, who had an average income of $258.7k.

Discover what the online affluent shoppers want today & tomorrow

This new report, Affluents Online – A Generational Perspective, examines the online shopping patterns of the top 20% most valuable target customers. Filled with descriptive statistics made actionable through analysis and case studies, this report gives marketers aiming to attract the high-spending, heavy-lifting affluent shoppers to their brands the insights needed to deliver the kind of shopping experiences affluents crave.

What’s more, it provides a forward-looking perspective on the young affluent shoppers, aged 24-44 years and members of the Millennial and GenXer generations, who are growing in spending power and in the life stage where their spending reaches its peak.

This new report will help brands prosper online today and tomorrow with a view of the young affluent HENRYs who are growing their wealth and spending power toward ultra-affluence by 2026-2029.

Get online and build a connection with young affluents

-- Learn how young affluents are shopping online, what features they value most in online websites, what makes sites ‘sticky’ so they return again and again.
-- Gain insight into the social media habits of young affluents and learn why overly promotional social media efforts fail.
-- Discover how to engage young affluents in social media to drive purchase.
-- Uncover the importance of mobile access to reach young affluents and how to capture their attention on mobile devices, including ways to attract young affluents to download apps and get them engage.

For media: Danziger available for interviews. Charts, tables and graphs detailing major findings in the report also are available.

About Pam Danziger & Unity Marketing

Pamela N. Danziger is an internationally recognized expert specializing in consumer insights for marketers targeting the affluent consumer. She is president of Unity Marketing, a marketing consulting firm she founded in 1992.

Pam received the 2007 Global Luxury Award for top luxury industry achievers presented at the Global Luxury Forum by Harper's Bazaar. Luxury Daily named Pam to its list of "Women to Watch in 2013." She is a member of Jim Blasingame: The Small Business Advocate's Brain Trust and a contributing columnist to The Robin Report, a monthly newsletter for senior executives in the retail, fashion, beauty, consumer products and related industries.

Pam's latest book is Putting the Luxe Back in Luxury: How new consumer values are redefining the way we market luxury (Paramount Market Publishing, 2011). Her other books include Shopping: Why We Love It and How Retailers Can Create the Ultimate Customer Experience, published by Kaplan Publishing in October 2006; Let Them Eat Cake: Marketing Luxury to the Masses-as well as the Classes, (Dearborn Trade Publishing, $27, hardcover) and Why People Buy Things They Don't Need: Understanding and Predicting Consumer Behavior (Chicago: Dearborn Trade Publishing, 2004).

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Pam Danziger

Greg Danziger
Unity Marketing Inc.
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