Affluent consumers are increasingly going online to shop as they evaluate their spending during the economic downturn.

This is the conclusion of a new report from eMarketer, which states that while richer shoppers are still buying luxury goods, they are becoming more price-conscious than they have been in the past.

It cites figures from comScore which show that in the United States, the number of people with household incomes of $100,000 (£63,000) who were online in March was 3.4 per cent higher than the same month last year.

Lisa E Phillips, a senior analyst at eMarketer, said luxury brand internet marketing teams must keep this in mind when advertising their products – potentially targeting offers and invitations at those with more money to spend.

"Other marketers hoping to catch the affluents who are trading down must raise the bar in their online efforts," she added.

According to the latest data from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, online sales increased by 14 per cent in April compared to the same month a year earlier.

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