Almost three-quarters, 72 percent, of shoppers with the highest spending power in the United States have bought something via e-commerce in the last three months. According to new research from Unity Marketing, brick-and-mortar shopping still accounts for the bulk of luxury spending, but e-commerce has increased 113 percent in the past 10 years, versus physical retail's 17 percent.
"The most impactful finding in our new study of affluents online in that the internet has been fully integrated into the lifestyles of the luxury consumers," Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing, told Luxury Daily. "And when it comes to shopping, that is the most important reason why affluents use the internet. It gives them immediate access to whatever their hearts' desire.
About 40 percent of affluent luxury shoppers enjoy shopping online more than in the store, and 47 percent enjoy it about the same.
Luxury spending in the U.S. is expected to grow 6.6 percent in 2015 and reach $6 trillion, which is about half of the total consumer expenditure in the country, $12.1 trillion.
When affluent consumers shop, they most likely shop with internet-specific retailers, as 72 percent have done so in the last three months. And 65 percent have bought online at discount stores and mass merchants, followed by clothing store websites and department store websites.
How affluent consumers use the internet depends on their age. Respondents who are 24 to 44 years old have an average income that is 25 percent higher than their mature counterparts, those ages 45 to 70. The younger group of shoppers are more likely to purchase online and enjoy it.
While 15 percent of mature shoppers say they enjoy shopping online less than in-store, only 9 percent or younger shoppers say the same. That means about 91 percent of young affluent shoppers like online shopping about the same or more than in-store, compared to 85 percent of older shoppers.
Several luxury retail brands have announced plans to expand their U.S. footprint in 2015. For example, Diane von Furstenberg is looking to expand to 200 stores in the United States and Michael Kors (NYSE:KORS) is on track to open 45 new stores in in 2015.
-See this Luxury Daily article
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