Flash sales still unknown to affluent consumers
Only 58% of affluent consumers said they were aware of at least one of the twelve 'flash sale' sites listed in the Spring 2011 survey of the wealthiest 10% of US households by the American Affluence Research Center.
Among those who said they were aware of any of the 'flash sale' sites, consumers knew of an average of 2.7 such sites. Women were found to be more aware of at least one site, while the differences within the net worth group were minimal.
Awareness of at least one site was also much higher among those who own a smartphone or a tablet computing device than among those who have access only to a standard computer.
Zappos, which has a different business model and has been in business for some 12 years, was known by 54% of the respondents surveyed. It was included in the list to provide a point of comparison with the various other flash sale sites.
One in ten affluent consumers (10%) are aware of Gilt, and all other sites listed recorded less than 10% awareness. Among those who are aware of at least one site, more than 90% are aware of Zappos. Gilt ranked second in terms of awareness among all groups examined. The relative awareness of certain sites varies by age, gender, and levels of wealth. For example, Gilt has a 24% share of awareness among those under 50 years old, and only a 12% share among those aged 60 and over.
On average, about 40% of the affluent said they had visited at least one of the 12 listed sites at least once during the previous 90 days. Among women, and among those with a US$200,000+ annual income, there was a lower likelihood of having visited one of the sites as age increased. Women were more than twice as likely as men, and those under age 50 were more than twice as likely as those aged 60+, to have visited one of the sites during the previous 90 days.
Zappos was the site most likely to be visited, with a share ranging from 58% (among those with a net worth of at least US$6 million) to over 80% among several other segments. Gilt had the second strongest share overall, typically below 10% but as high as 25% in the US$6+ million net worth group. As an average share, Zappos had 81% and Gilt had 13%.
Almost four out of ten (39%) of the affluent consumers surveyed have ever made a purchase from one of the listed sites. Members of that group, on average, had purchased from 1.2 sites each. The incidence of at least one purchase increases as age declines and income increases. Women are twice as likely to have made a purchase than men. About 87% of those who had made a purchase did so from Zappos. Gilt ranked second in purchase incidence among all groups, with the exception of those age 60+ and those in the lowest and highest net worth groupings. RueLaLa was a close third.