How Do We Really Motivate Affluent Shoppers?

Like many in the world of retailing, Motista’s retail clients are keenly focused on affluent shoppers. While households with incomes over $100,000 account for 18% of all U.S. households, affluent consumers now constitute 50% of all U.S. retail spending. Retailers are frequently asking Motista how to best motivate affluent consumers to shop more, pay more and recommend their brands. In search of insights, we took a look at Motista’s Q1-2012 intelligence on retailers and here’s what we learned:


Retailers have BIG opportunities to leverage emotional connection to motivate affluent shoppers. We compared affluent shoppers who are emotionally connected to their retailers to affluent shoppers who are highly satisfied with their retailers (e.g., giving high marks to service, value, and selection) but not emotionally connected.  Here’s what we found:

Willing to Pay Higher Prices: Emotionally connected shoppers are less price sensitive.  Sixty-two percent of connected affluent shoppers are willing to pay their retailers higher prices for comparable products, compared to 14% of satisfied affluent shoppers.

More advocacy: Emotional connection powers advocacy. Eighty-three percent of connected affluent shoppers “feel good” telling their friends, family and colleagues about their retailers, versus 18% of satisfied affluent shoppers. Seventy-two percent of connected affluent shoppers “share important values” with their retailers, compared to 6% of satisfied affluent shoppers. Moreover, 28% of connected affluent shoppers have recently recommended their retailers to friends, family members or colleagues, versus just 6% of satisfied affluent shoppers.

More shopping: Affluent shoppers who are emotionally connected are shopping more. Twenty-nine percent of connected affluent shoppers have recently used loyalty program points to make a purchase, compared to just 5% of satisfied affluent shoppers. Twenty-eight percent of connected affluent shoppers have recently browsed items on their retailers’ mobile sites through their PDAs or smartphones, compared to 7% of satisfied affluent shoppers. And, 25% of connected affluent shoppers have recently added items to their shopping carts on their retailers’ websites, compared to 6% of satisfied affluent shoppers.

The emotions most motivating: During Q1-2012, affluent shoppers were most motivated to shop their retailers when they feel their retailers help them “perform at a higher level.” Closely behind was the emotion “community,” when shoppers feel they’re helping their community by shopping their retailers. Feeling their retailers help them live their lives the way they want to live them was the third strongest emotion driving affluent shoppers in Q1.

Operationalizing emotion: Our retail clients are increasingly focused on operationalizing emotion – delivering specific emotional connections across touch points and experiences. Using the top emotion in Q1-2012 (“perform at a higher level”), we analyzed 60 touch points to see which were delivering this emotion in Q1. A sample of this analysis:

Percent who feel “perform at a higher level” when they:

Based on our analyses, it’s emotional connection that is driving affluent shoppers – who constitute 50% of all purchasing – to shop their retailers.  We’re excited to be working with leading retailers that are using Motista’s intelligence to create stronger brands, better marketing programs and more engaging shopper experiences.

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About Scott Magids

Scott Magids co-founded Motista with Alan Zorfas in 2007 and has led Motista in building its pioneering consumer intelligence product, securing substantial sales to Fortune 1000 brands and raising venture capital to support significant expansion.
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