Affluent Consumer Tracking Study (ACTS) — Shopper Track



What to Do if You Are Drowning in “Big Data,” but Starved for Actionable Information to Attract New Affluent Shoppers to Your Retail Destination

Unity Marketing’s ACTS Shopper Track digs deep into Where, Why and How the affluent shoppers — retailers’ best target customer — shops

Most retailers of any size have made significant investments in CRM systems and “Big Data” to provide them with virtually every speck of data about their customers’ every purchase. But while they may know every thing about every one of their customers, they are missing an even greater source of critically-important customer information — insights about the potential customer that walks right by their store and into the one next door.

Every experienced marketer knows that sales success comes from encouraging more people to spend more money more often. But focusing exclusively on one’s existing customer base at the expense of actionable insights about potential customers that shop the competition is a fatal flaw. In this new affluent consumer tracking study, Unity Marketing fills the gap in retailers’ customer knowledge database focused on the affluent shoppers.

For 10 years, Unity Marketing has followed the behavior of the affluent consumer in its Affluent Consumer Tracking Study (ACTS), formerly the Luxury Tracking Report. Beginning in 2014, the ACTS survey was expanded to include Shopper Track devoted to where and how affluents shop.

In the ACTS Shopper Track, affluents shopping behavior is the focus.  The Shopper Track is fielded in the spring/summer, with the Products & Services Track survey fielded in the fall/winter.   By taking a consumer’s-eye view of the luxury marketplace, readers will learn:

  • What store types affluent consumers favor, with an in-depth concentration on online and non-store shopping in addition to traditional bricks-and-mortar retail establishments.
  • How often affluents shop, drilling down into frequency of shopping at various store types as a measure of shopping behavior and consumer loyalty.
  • Where affluents made purchases. Enticing shoppers into the store is just one part of the equation; encouraging them to complete the sale is the critically-important part for retailer success.- Spending behavior, including how much was spent by store type during the most recent shopping trip, so that the level of customer participation can be measured, quantified and compared.
  • Why consumers shop, exploring issues including need for new or replacement items, shopping for recreation or information, and comparison shopping.

“By adding a more in-depth shopper behavior component to the ACTS, Unity marketing is offering a complete picture of today’s luxury marketing environment,” says Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing. “This complete picture is critically important to today’s busy marketer who is swimming in data but starving for information.”

“Every one of us spends time every day deleting email messages and scrolling through social media content that offers facts and figures promoted as important to business. But raw data is not actionable. That’s why Unity continues to work to provide comprehensive analysis and strategy for our loyal subscribers.”

“The Affluent Consumer Tracking Study with its forward-looking Luxury Consumption Index (LCI) has been the go-to guide for marketers seeing the leading edge of the luxury market for a decade. Now, with a new name and an additional deep dive into shopper behavior, ACTS is more essential than ever before.”

More about the ACTS Shopper Track

As with the ACTS product-focused track, the Shopper Track survey is customized to the specific needs of its clients. The structure is adaptable around these different types of shopping and retailing experiences:

General Merchandise Stores

  • Department stores or department store websites (such as JC Penneys, Sears, Dillards, Macy’s, etc.)
  • Discount department stores and discount mass merchants or discounters websites (such as Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target, Sam’s Club, Kohls, and other discount department stores)
  • Luxury department stores or websites (such as Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, Saks 5th Avenue, Lord & Taylor, etc.)
  • Warehouse clubs (such as Costco, Sam’s Club, BJs)

Non-Store Retailers

  • Internet or Online websites, (specifically internet-only etailers such as,, etc,)
  • Direct mail catalogs (such as Frontgate, Grandin Road, Skymall, etc.)
  • TV Shopping (QVC, HSN, ShopHQ)

Specialty Stores

  • Luxury-brand boutiques or websites (such as Louis Vuitton,, Gucci, Chanel, Burberry)
  • Book, record, video stores or websites (such as Barnes & Noble,, FYE, etc.)
  • Clothing and/or fashion accessories stores or websites (such as Gap,, Banana Republic,, J. Crew, Coach, The Limited, Talbots, Old Navy, Ann Taylor, or other local clothing, shoe and/or fashion accessories store)
  • Craft & hobby stores or websites (such as Michaels,, Hobby Lobby, JoAnns)
  • Electronics and/or computer specialty stores or websites (such as Best Buy,, Apple, Magnolia, etc.)
  • Gift specialty stores and boutiques or websites (such as Hallmark,, Carlton Cards, museum gift shops, etc.)
  • Home specialty stores including furniture and home furnishings stores or websites (such as Pier 1,, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Pottery Barn, Williams Sonoma, Crate and Barrel, Kirklands, Ethan Allen or local furniture stores)
  • Jewelry stores or websites (such as Tiffany’s,, Zales, Kay’s, Swarovski, etc.)
  • Personal care, beauty, cosmetics or fragrance specialty stores or websites such as Sephora,, Bath & Body Works, Body Shop, Ulta, etc.)
  • Toy stores or websites (such as Toys ‘R Us ,, or local independent toy stores)
  • Home improvement stores, hardware stores, garden centers and/or patio/outdoor living stores or websites, (such as Lowe’s,, Home Depot, Ace Hardware or local independent store)
  • Liquor/wine stores and/or wineries or websites (including,, State-Operated Liquor store, or neighborhood wine/liquor specialty store)
  • Kitchenwares or tabletop stores or websites (such as Williams Sonoma,, Sur la Table, Lenox or independent local store)
  • Art galleries, custom-framing, art and/or wall decor specialty stores or websites (such as Wentworth Gallery,, Deck the Walls, The Great Frame Up or local independent local store)
  • Major appliance store, kitchen or bathroom remodeling stores or websites (store that specializes in major appliances and/or bathroom and kitchen remodeling, such as ABT,, hhGregg, or local independent store)
  • Sun glass or optical specialty stores or websites (such as Sunglass Hut,, Ilori, Lens Express, etc.

Specific Shopping Details Collected

For a selected group of retailer and services experiences purchased over the course of the three-month study period, additional details about the most recent experience are collected:

  • What types of products for retail shopping experiences and what specific types of experiences were purchased for the service categories;
  • If shopping was done in-store, online, by phone or other and for in-store retail shopping experiences, whether the most recent shopping trip was done alone, with significant other or family member or with friends;
  • How much in total was spent and how the most recent purchase was made, for example by credit card, premium card (e.g. American Express), debit card, cash, check or other;
  • Specific reason the most recent shopping was conducted, such as need to find a specific item, because of a sale, for fun, impulse, to buy gift, etc. A range of reasons for service purchases are also asked appropriate for the service category.

Details are gathered about specific shopping experiences most relevant to Unity Marketing’s range of ACTS clients. Retailing categories where only shopping usage and occurrences are gathered and no details about the most recent shopping experience are: Discount department stores; warehouse clubs; direct mail catalogs; TV shopping; book, record, video stores; craft & hobby stores; electronics stores; gift specialty stores; toy stores; home improvement stores; and interior designer, architect, contractor services. Any of these, however, can be added to ACTS Shopper Track upon request.

Call Pam Danziger at 717-336-1600 or email to learn more about participating in the Shopper Track.


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