February 4, 2011, 4:17 PM

Affluent consumers respond to holiday e-mails, report says

Parents with money to spend were among those most likely to visit retail sites.

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Consumers with money to spend and with children at home were among those most likely to click from an e-mail to a retail site on Christmas Day and the day after, Experian Hitwise says in a new report.

Hitwise based its findings on a panel of consumers who clicked an e-mail marketing message, then visited one of the largest 500 web sites compiled by Hitwise based on site traffic. The report broke out information on site visitors by subsets such as demographics.

By age, the largest share of visitors, 27%, to the retail sites came from consumers 35-44; the second largest share, at 22%, were consumers 45-54, Hitwise says.

By segments that combined income and household type, consumers within the combined groups of what Hitwise calls Affluent Suburbia (defined as the wealthiest households in the U.S. living in exclusive suburban neighborhoods), Upscale America (college-educated couples and families living in the metropolitan sprawl earning upscale incomes providing them with large homes and very comfortable and active lifestyles) and Aspiring Contemporaries (young, mostly single, ethnically diverse, online active households living in new homes or apartments with discretionary income to spend on themselves) accounted for 40% of the visits to the retail sites. While each of these groups tend to be more affluent than the average consumer, the first two are comprised largely of consumers 35-44 with children in their households; Aspiring Contemporaries tend to be younger and single, Hitwise says.

The report also notes that members of the panel were less likely than the general online population to have visited Facebook.com and Google.com on Dec. 25 and 26, but were more likely than the average online consumer to have visited Yahoo sites or the default home page for the Safari web browser, Apple.com/startpage.

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