A View of Today’s Value- Seeking Shopper: The Affluent Consumer

By Curtis Tingle, Chief Marketing Officer, Valassis
Published Friday, Sep 16, 2016

A View of Today’s Value- Seeking Shopper: The Affluent Consumer

This week we are turning our attention to affluent shoppers – those with $100K+ household incomes – and how they shop and save according to a recent Valassis RedPlum Purse String Survey. Much has been published around this particular consumer segment, noting how affluent households still want to spend their dollars wisely and reap value for what they buy. In fact, a recent eMarketer report1 came to the conclusion that “affluent US consumers are thrifty, not spendthrifts.” The Valassis Survey identified similar higher-income consumer behaviors; let’s take a look at a few of those findings below.

Although the percentage of affluent respondents who spend at least two hours each week looking for coupons is lower than average (46 percent do so vs. 55 percent of all respondents), they are still just as likely (if not more so) to save more than $30 (and even more than $50) weekly as a result. Affluent consumers are also more likely to use coupons across a wide variety of grocery trips, reinforcing that they seek value no matter the purchase occasion.   

Q: Do you typically use coupons for the following types of grocery trips? (Please select all that apply)

affluent-consumer-chart1Key: Green font = significantly higher than All Respondents at the 90 percent confidence level

These savings are still being applied to basic necessities, but affluent respondents are more likely to also use them to fund vacations/travel (8 percent vs. 4 percent overall), dining out (8 percent vs. 5 percent overall) and long-term savings (10 percent vs. 5 percent overall). This suggests that coupons allow higher-income households to “free up” discretionary dollars for experiences and future planning (not just the day-to-day needs).

Additional insights also point toward higher-income shoppers desiring experiences, convenience and service - and looking for ways to frugally secure all three. For example, although affluent consumers rank the same categories of interest for coupons and deals, they are significantly more likely to want offers for dining out, home improvement items/services, travel and other services.

Q: Which of the following categories are you interested in finding coupons, coupon codes and deals? (Select all that apply)


Key: Gray highlight = top 4 coupon category; green font = significantly higher than All Respondents at the 90 percent confidence level; red font = significantly lower than All Respondents at the 90 percent confidence level

Furthermore, these consumers are more likely this year to be buying items online for home delivery (43 percent of affluent respondents vs. 28 percent of all respondents) and 56 percent of affluent respondents agree they would be more inclined to shop for groceries online if they could use more coupons (vs. 51 percent overall). When asked what encourages them to use coupons, 75 percent want to save money (vs. 84 percent overall), but nearly 20 percent cite coupons being easily available from stores they already shop (vs. 10 percent of all respondents) – again, supporting a need for convenience.

Not surprisingly, affluent respondents are also more engaged digitally when it comes to saving.  For example, 81 percent look for coupons and offers while in-store via their mobile device (vs. 72 percent overall).  These consumers are also more apt to have used their mobile device in the past 30 days for the following savings activity vs. the average consumer:

  • 62 percent used a savings app (vs. 49 percent overall)
  • 60 percent used/redeemed a coupon code (vs. 46 percent overall)
  • 56 percent downloaded a coupon to a loyalty card (vs. 44 percent overall)
  • 46 percent compared deals online and in-store (vs. 35 percent overall)

From these findings, it is clear that coupons and savings behavior are a focus for affluent consumers. Although they may seek out convenience, experience and digital tools more often overall, they value savvy spending just as much as the rest of us.

About the 2016 RedPlum Purse String Survey: For the eighth year, in conjunction with National Coupon Month in September, RedPlum has conducted a savings survey to gain insight from today's shopper; learn more about their shopping behaviors; where consumers are looking for deals; what they are doing with their savings; and what influencers are driving their behaviors. The 2016 RedPlum Purse String Survey is based on insights from more than 8,880 respondents. The survey was conducted on redplum.com from May 16th to June 16th, 2016.

Source: 1eMarketer, “Affluent US Consumers are Thrifty, Not Spendthrifts,” June 14, 2016