by Maureen Dyvig
In volatile economic times, most consumers tighten their belts and make better-informed shopping choices, especially when it comes to luxury items. An interesting side effect of the recent economic recovery has been affluent consumers’ new focus on value. Deal-seeking is now a trendy activity among all socio-economic segments. Affluent individuals are seeking a balance between luxury and price savings. Below are a few sources to support this new value orientation:
1. Mediapost – January 2012: “2011 Ended On a Positive Note for Affluents”
At the end of 2011, a survey among affluent individuals showed a renewed sense of economic optimism. Though shoppers’ confidence has been boosted, cutting back on spending is important.
“Affluents are looking forward to 2012 with a renewed sense of hope and with full agendas. Eight in ten made resolutions or set specific goals for themselves, with most focused on spending more time with family, saving money, and/or living healthier lifestyles.”
Source: Steve Kraus, Bob Shullman, MediaPost Blogs http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/165935/2011-ended-on-a-positive-note-for-affluents.html#ixzz1qLVsnnY1
2. Trendwatching- November 2011: “Dealer-Chic”
Trendwatching dedicated a whole month to consumers’ changing attitude on deals. Businesses are beginning to recognize that even those individuals with money are looking for ways to build social value through deals, savings, and savvy coupon usage. Below are the article’s main support points behind this trend:
- “MORE FOR LESS: While many people in developed economies may have less money to spend right now, consumers everywhere will forever look to experience more.”
- “THE MEDIUM IS THE MOTIVATION: Consumers are now being alerted to, using, reusing and sharing offers and deals via new (and therefore infinitely more exciting and attractive) technologies.”
- “BEST OF THE BEST: With instant mobile or online access to not only deals but reviews as well, consumers can now be confident they’re getting the best price for the best product or service.”
Source: www.trendwatching.com. One of the world’s leading trend firms, trendwatching.com sends out its free, monthly Trend Briefings to more than 160,000 subscribers worldwide.
3. AdAge Blogs – January 2012: “Affluency: Three Trends to Watch for 2012”
According to a study released by Ipsos Mendelsohn and reported by AdAge, affluent consumers have changed their attitudes towards value and shopping in general. For example, affluent consumers will continue to indulge in luxury goods but are less turned off by sales and embrace the idea of price-based shopping:
“89% [of those surveyed] agree, “When I decide to purchase a luxury item, I go out of my way to find the best price possible.” Conversely, only 22% of affluents agree, “If a luxury product goes on sale, it lessens the perception of luxury.”
Another interesting finding is that affluent individuals are putting more emphasis on strategic shopping; they’re spending more time comparing products based on perceived value. Instead of buying based on immediate needs and wants, more time is put in researching products:
“64% [of those surveyed] agree, “I regularly read online reviews of products before making an online purchase.” 47% agree, “I regularly read online reviews of products before making a purchase in a retail store.” 68% agree, “When I go shopping online, I usually know exactly what I want to buy.” 63% agree, “When I go shopping in a retail store, I usually know exactly what I want to buy.”
Source: Steve Kraus, Bob Shullman, AdAge Blogs http://adage.com/article/adagestat/affluency-trends-watch-2012/231886/
As shopping attitudes change, businesses need to identify how to utilize sales promotions to add greater value to affluent consumers. The days of coupon-cutting may be long gone for this segment, but the importance of sales and deals is just starting to warm up.