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    The Valley Group

    Retail marketing group creating powerful in-store solutions, driven by insight, knowledge and creativity

    6: Affluent Consumers

    How well do you know the affluent consumer? How do they like to shop? Where do they shop?

    Consumer shopping habits have significantly changed in the last 18 months. With stores shut for many months of 2020, consumers were forced to shop online. In the last few months, Some brands’ sales are starting to return to pre-pandemic levels, but what can brands do to keep consumers’ engagement and custom?

    In this topic, we review insight data that helps to explain how brands can attract their biggest spenders – affluent consumers, by understanding their attitudes, behaviours, and brand expectations. We also review the luxury sector specifically and explore how shopping habits have changed.

    Affluent consumers perceive themselves as fashion-conscious, career-focused, and confident. They value standing out in a crowd and seek status among their peers.

    Globally, this group makes up 19% of the online population. They’re typically male, aged 25 to 44. The majority of this group are highly educated with over half having studied for a university or postgraduate degree. They tend to be married with one or more children.

    As this group has a lot of purchasing power, it’s unsurprising that they tend to buy the premium version of products and are 60% more likely than the average consumer to do so. They also want to be recognised as valuable customers and therefore are 27% more likely to use loyalty or reward programs.

    Affluent consumers do their homework when looking to buy something new and don’t rush into their purchases. They spend time looking into expert opinions and recommendations, seeking assurance of value before they take the plunge.

    64% of affluent consumers prefer to shop online rather than in-store (11% more likely than the average consumer). Half have also purchased a product or service online in the past week. This is big news for an industry rooted in heritage and tradition. Retail shopping has been preferred in the past because luxury items tend to be expensive, high-ticket sales, therefore the fact that this is moving online suggests a rise in trust.

    Affluent consumers choose to use reward schemes to guarantee the same high-end customer service they would receive in-store, maintaining the exclusive feel.

    Also, a great benefit of shopping online is being able to have more control over spending and take advantage of reward schemes and price comparison websites. As this group prefers to purchase the premium version of products, they want to shop smart.

    Affluent consumers have high expectations of luxury brands. They want them to provide high quality materials, personalised products, and a sense of exclusivity, enhancing their status among their peers.

    This group’s desire for status and to stand out is clear, with 75% preferring branding on luxury items to be clearly visible, compared to 67% all luxury buyers. If affluent consumers are purchasing a luxury item, they generally want people to know about it.

    Affluent Gen Zs and millennials’ expectations of brands’ ethical credentials rises to 42%, and their desire to want personalised products rises to 49%. Brands will need to harness these aspects to engage with the next generations. A strong online presence is also key for these groups as this rises to 43% for younger generations.

     

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