Ultra-affluents, the wealthiest 2% of the U.S. population with incomes of $250,000 and above, have embraced online shopping.  Their favorite online retailer, hands down?  Amazon.com. 

“Amazon.com has consistently emerged in Unity Marketing’s surveys as ultra-affluents’ top online shopping destination, regularly attracting about 45% of all ultra-affluent shoppers, a percentage that is typically two to three times greater than the next most popular website,” says Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and author of “Putting the Luxe Back in Luxury:  How new consumer values are redefining the way we market luxury” (Paramount Market Publishing, 2011).

“This online retailer has been a cornerstone of internet shopping since e-commerce first began and has consistently adapted to the needs of its customers in order to build a loyal following.  For the most discerning affluent shoppers Amazon offers outstanding levels of customer service along with an expansive product selection.  Further Amazon ‘learns’ the shoppers preferences and offers new selections based upon previous needs which boosts the company’s revenues and the customer’s satisfaction.”

WEALTHY SHOPPERS SEARCH FOR BARGAINS ONLINE

What stands out from the data, however, is the interest ultra-affluents have in online shops that are geared toward savings.  In Unity Marketing’s most recent luxury tracking survey, among ultra-affluents surveyed (n=436), some 14% shopped through auction site eBay.com, just over 10% frequented local coupon site Groupon.com, and about 8% visited the local “want ad” site, Craigslist.com.  All three of these frugal shopping sites were in the top 8 among all sites visited.

Also attracting ultra-affluents are flash sale sites like Shopittome.com, Gilt.com, Hautelook.com, BeyondtheRack.com and Amazon’s new entry into the category, MyHabit.com, for the bargain-hunting yet wealthy fashionistas and Buy.com for the wealthiest tech-oriented shoppers.

“While ultra-affluent consumers may make purchases of top-end luxury items online, the data show that these consumers are also interested in finding great deals and perhaps selling a few of their own unwanted items online,” says Danziger.  “It is important for marketers to realize that their wealthiest shoppers are keenly interested in value and bargains, particularly online.  These deal-oriented sites attract those at the highest income levels.”

[Source:  “Luxury Report 2011: Ultimate Guide to the Luxury Consumer Market.”  Unity Marketing.  8 July 2011.  Web.  15 July 2011.]