Research by the Lundgren Center Uncovers New and Influential Shopper Segment

Survey of 7,000 consumers reveals that “digital divas” control more than two-thirds of fashion purchasing power.
Survey of 7,000 consumers reveals that “digital divas” control more than two-thirds of fashion purchasing power.

Demandware, a provider of software-as-a-service ecommerce solutions, and the Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing have released the results from a new survey of 7,000 consumers that uncovers an emerging and valuable consumer segment. Research shows that this segment, coined “digital divas,” are digitally engaged and fashionable consumers that leverage an average of 3.7 technologies while shopping (versus an average of less than one technology by non-divas). While they comprise only 22 percent of fashion buyers, digital divas represent 69 percent of all fashion spending.

The research shows that digital divas – split almost evenly between 53 percent women and 47 percent men – are five times more likely than non-divas to influence their social networks by sharing, informing, educating, and advising. They command significant influenced spend (40 percent) beyond their direct spend (29 percent) and have become the epicenter of brand success.

Analysis also revealed that digital divas are:

Omni-Channel: They visit an average of 3.4 destinations during their journey, primarily shopping at physical retail stores (70 percent) and retailer websites (51 percent).

Mobile: They are twice as likely to use mobile devices while shopping in stores than non-divas – giving them both access and inclinations to not only communicate, but also shop on the move.

Informed: They are information omnivores, seeking out and devouring content from an average of 3.5 sources before purchase.

“It’s clear from our research that while digital divas are a small group of consumers, they have significant purchasing power and are extremely influential within their social networks – both online and in person,” said Anita Bhappu, PetSmart Professor of Retailing and Consumer Sciences at the University of Arizona. “They are both sophisticated and vocal shoppers, so it’s important that retailers attend to them.”

“Retailers can’t ignore exponential value that digital divas represent,” said Rob Garf, vice president of product and solutions marketing at Demandware. “To address their needs, it is imperative that retailers establish a digital backbone to enable seamless and consistent experiences for these digitally savvy consumers.”

Survey data was collected from representative online panels in the U.S., U.K., France and Germany during the fall of 2012. Qualified respondents were primary household shoppers of fashion products (apparel, footwear, and accessories) ages 18 years or older who had made a fashion purchase in the past three months. The survey sample included a total of 7,413 respondents – 3,506 in the U.S., 1,433 in the U.K., 1,380 in Germany, and 1,094 in France.

The Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing is part of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences. It brings together the resources and expertise of academia and the retail industry, with a shared goal of developing strong future retail professionals. It is considered one of the top retail business programs in the country. About 500 students currently are enrolled in classes and degree programs.

Learn More
Register for the Webinar: Join Anita Bhappu and Rob Garf, vice president of product and solutions marketing, Demandware, for a live webinar on Tuesday, February 19 at 1:00 p.m. EST.

Attend the Conference: The Global Retailing Conference 2013 of the University of Arizona's Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing. April 11-12, Loews Ventana Canyon, Tucson, Ariz.

Date released: 
Jan 25 2013
Anita Bhappu