74% of Affluent Baby Boomers use Social Media for Buying Decisions
I found this new study an interesting read. It certainly has a ring of truth about it as nearly all of our baby boomer friends are very active using the Internet and social media to make luxury travel buying decisions.
Although this study isn’t about luxury travel, per se, I suspect these numbers still hold true.
New study from Unity Marketing reveals how affluents use internet, social media and mobile devices and apps in support of their luxury lifestyles to help marketers create strategies to use these marketing and branding tools most effectively
Stevens, PA December 14, 2012 — For businesses targeting high-end shoppers, having a robust, engaging and sticky website, as well as a proactive social media and mobile platform, is no longer an option, but a necessity. That is because high-end consumers have fully integrated the internet into their luxury lifestyles, according to a new study entitled Affluents Online about the online habits and usage of affluent consumers from Unity Marketing.
In a survey among nearly 1,000 affluent consumers (avg. income $248.9k) Unity Marketing found that 98 percent of those surveyed used the internet to shop and make purchases in the three month study period. They spent on average $3,702 on their high-end online purchases. Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and lead researcher in the study said, “Online shopping is ubiquitous among affluent consumers. The typical affluent consumer spends about 5 hours a week online conducting shopping-related activities.”
The key trend in affluent online shopping is the growth in making mobile purchases
Danziger continues, “However, in comparing last year’s survey with the one conducted most recently, we found similar strong interest among affluents in online shopping. What has trended up significantly from 2011 to 2012 is the use of mobile devices to make these purchases. In the latest study nearly 40 percent of affluent shoppers made an online purchase in the past three months using a mobile device; this rose from only 22 percent a mere 12 months ago. But unlike computers, mobile usage still lags among the mature affluents (aged 45-70 years). For example, 49 percent of young affluents (under 45 years) made a purchase through a mobile device in the past three months, as compared with only 22 percent of mature affluents. The consumers’ age, not income or gender, is the key determiner of whether they use a mobile device to power their luxury lifestyle.”
Luxury marketers can use social media to reach nearly 80 percent of affluents of all ages
Another key finding about affluents use of the internet is that social media usage (defined as having one or more profiles on a social networking site) has effectively plateaued at over 80 percent, showing no significant growth overall from 2011 to 2012. Young affluents are the most active on social media (93 percent from 24-34 years), but some 74 percent of even the oldest age segment, 55-70 years, use social media, so social media is a viable way for businesses that target an older demographic to connect with their customers.
“Today social media have the potential to reach most any luxury consumer – young or old and the HENRY affluents (high earners not rich yet), the top 2 percent ultra-affluents, even the high-net-worth rich. And while overall usage of social media hasn’t risen in the past year, more affluents, especially women, have created a connection with a brand through social media. In 2012 some 43 percent of social media users liked a product or brand (43 percent) on Facebook, as compared with 34 percent in 2011,” Danziger said.
The study also reveals that affluents connect with brands primarily to gain access to discounts and special offers, but other important reasons they connect are related to sharing their passion for brands with their social networks. For example, 31 percent connect with brands to show others that they like and support this brand. This presents exciting possibilities to create compelling friend-get-a-friend promotions through Facebook and other social media platforms.
The study also includes case studies about online marketing and social media success from leading brands, including as American Express, Burt’s Bees, Luxury Link, Carnival Cruise Lines, Diageo and Lacoste.
This new survey gives marketers fact-based insights into how they are using the internet, social media and mobile devices to connect with brands. Based upon the research, the report calls out key marketing strategies and tactics businesses can use to take advantage of the consumers’ online behavior in order to connect with them. The study helps businesses make better use of their websites, social media and mobile platforms to create relationships with high-end, affluent shoppers.
Link: Unity Marketing Study