The Debonair Digital Dude

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Luxury menswear is leading the trend and growing at a rate of about 14% per year, according to a new study.

"The Affluent Male: What His Online Behavior Can Teach Luxury Brand Marketers," released last week by iProspect, shows the online preferences and behaviors of affluent males – including device, advertising, research, shopping and brand preferences.

According to the study, there are 19 million affluent males (age 18 and older) with a household income of at least $100,000 on the Internet and 40% of the respondents to the study indicated that they are shopping online at least twice a week. And those who are shopping multiple times are spending more than $30,000 annually.

"The old adage that men hate to shop is being upended by the digital experience. Not only are affluent men shopping online more, but this demographic is doing extensive research, shopping and then purchasing online, which provides advertisers with multiple touch points to reach him. Understanding the habits of the high-end consumer allows iProspect to help our clients develop well-integrated digital campaigns that connect with this audience and deliver results," said Robert Murray, Global CEO, iProspect.

According to the study, 70% of affluent males prefer to research and buy online rather than researching online and purchasing in store. And they are adopting a multi-channel, smart commerce approach to accessing the internet. 

  • The vast majority (91%) access a PC at least once daily, while seventy-seven percent have a mobile smartphone and 50 percent own a tablet.
  • Engagement with these devices is high across the board - almost 100 percent of survey respondents report using their PCs and mobile smartphones at least daily and 85% reporting daily use of tablets.
  • When an affluent male has daily access to tablet, he is 32 percent more likely to have made a purchase via the device.
  • In terms of visibility, 71 percent have seen ads on a PC while one in three have seen ads on a mobile phone or tablet.

"By all indications, this segment has untapped purchasing power which can and will trickle down to non-luxury brands," said Murray. "The best digital marketing strategies integrate practices across all channels. For brand managers, knowing how to effectively communicate to affluent men will a key factor to success in an increasingly digital world."

The research also showed that 84% of those surveyed make purchases for themselves, with the most-searched categories including travel, accessories, apparel and automobiles. Within the affluent demographic, this study contradicts the cornerstone of She-conomics – which advocates that women account for 85% of all consumer purchases and represent the majority of the online market.

As we track the growth opportunities within the menswear category, alongside purchasing trends, it’s apparent that these new findings represent an alteration to the online fabric. More and more, it's the visual storytelling and consistent holistic messaging that attract appeal.