Published April 05, 2012
It’s often said that the rich have the world at their fingertips.
When it comes to shopping, however, it seems they prefer to use their legs.
Sixty percent of wealthy smartphone owners say they rarely or never shop on their mobile phones, according to a new survey released by independent research firm The Luxury Institute. The survey polled individuals who earn $150,000 or more a year and reported an average net worth of $2.8 million.
While the respondents cited several reasons for not indulging in mobile shopping, the biggest reason by far was a preference for the in-store shopping experience. Fifty-one percent said they prefer to touch and feel the products they’re buying than swipe through products on their smartphones.
“They love the in-store experience; some even see it as entertainment,” says Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute.
Twenty-nine percent of respondents cited privacy and security concerns as their main reason for not shopping on their smartphones, while 22% said they prefer shopping on devices with larger screens, such as their computers or iPads. Eleven percent said they don’t know how to shop on their phone and another 7% said the process seems complicated. Only 5% said that the brands they favor don’t offer options for mobile shopping.
While the majority of wealthy consumers aren’t keen on using their mobile phones to shop, 40% of them do so frequently. Fourteen percent of respondents said they make purchases from their phone “regularly” and 26% said they do so “occasionally.”
As true luxury customers, it’s not surprising that those who shop on their phones are spending quite a bit of money. One out of every four wealthy individuals who shopped from their phones – even those who shopped “rarely” – made purchases totaling $1,000 or more over the last 12 months. The majority of respondents (34%) spent somewhere between $100 and $499. Tickets to events (sporting events, concerts, etc.) represented the biggest portion of mobile purchases, followed by gift cards, food and personal electronics.
Perhaps one of the most interesting findings in the survey is that, when it comes to mobile entertainment, the wealthy aren’t any more sophisticated than today’s bored, broke teens. The study found that Facebook, Angry Birds and Words With Friends are their apps of choice. (Alec Baldwin could have told us that!)
“I guess they’re just as human as the rest of us,” says Pedraza.