About 58% of the affluent indicated they are aware of at least one of the 12 sites listed in a new Spring 2011 survey of the wealthiest 10% of US households by the American Affluence Research Center. Those aware of any of the sites are aware of an average of 2.7 sites.

In the new Spring 2011 survey, the 19th in a continuing series of twice-yearly tracking studies by the American Affluence Research Center, awareness of at least one site increases as age declines and income increases. Women are more aware of at least one site, while the differences within the net worth group are minimal. Awareness of at least one site is much higher among those who own a smart phone and/or tablet than among those who only have access to a computer.

Zappos, which has a different business model and has been in business for about 12 years, is known by 54% of the respondents. It was included in the list to provide a point of comparison with the various “flash sale” sites. About 10% are aware of Gilt, and all other sites listed have less than 10% awareness. Among those aware of at least one site, over 90% are aware of Zappos. Gilt ranks second in awareness among the different groups. The relative awareness of certain sites varies by age, gender, and levels of wealth. For example, Gilt has a 24% share among those under age 50 and only a 12% share among those age 60+.

On average, about 40% of the affluent had visited at least one of the 12 listed sites at least once during the prior 90 days. There was a greater likelihood of having visited one of the sites as age declined, among women, and among those with $200K+ income. Women were more than twice as likely as men, and those under age 50 were more than twice as likely as those age 60+, to have visited one of the sites during the past 90 days.

Zappos was the site most likely to be visited, with a share ranging from 58% (among those with $6M+ net worth) to the high 80s among several segments. Gilt had the second strongest share overall, typically below 10% but as high as 25% of the $6M+ net worth group. As an average share, Zappos had 81% and Gilt had 13%.

The owners of mobile devices (smart phones and/or tablets) are more likely to have visited one of the “flash sale” sites during the past 90 days than those with access to only computers (36%). Those with both tablets and smart phones were most likely to have visited one of the sites (55%).

Zappos was highly favored over all the other sites among the owners of all the various devices. Its share was lowest among tablet owners (63%) and highest among those who have access only to a computer (87%). Gilt had the second highest share and was strongest among those with a tablet (about 22%).

About 39% of the affluent have ever made a purchase from one of the sites listed. On average, they have purchased from 1.2 sites. The incidence of at least one purchase increases as age declines and income increases. Women are more likely to have made a purchase by a margin of two to one over men.

About 87% of those who have made a purchase did so from Zappos. Gilt ranks 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 is a close third.
Participants in the American Affluence Research Center Spring 2011 survey have an average annual household income of $333,000, an average primary residence value of $1.2 million, an average net worth of $3.1 million, and average investable assets of $1.8 million.

A description of the survey methodology and other detailed highlights of the survey can be viewed at: http://affluenceresearch.org/most-recent-tracking-study/highlights-of-most-recent-survey/