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Shoppers are opening their pocketbooks for luxury goods once again, but mostly for small ticket items, a recent Accenture study shows.
Among more than 2,000 adults surveyed for luxury shopping research, half said they are likely to make a small luxury purchase in the next six months.
Most of these consumers (53 percent) said they were likely to purchase specialty food or drinks, while another 48 percent indicated they are likely to purchase luxury clothing or personal care products.
The study also found that “showrooming,” or viewing a product in a store and then going online to make the purchase at the best price, plays an important role in luxury buying behavior. In the past six months from the time the survey was conducted, one in five consumers visited a store to look at a luxury product in person and then purchased the product online.
Infographic: Consumers Starting to Open Their Pocketbooks Again, but Mostly for Small Luxuries
Download Infographic [PDF, 444 KB]
Download the results of the of the Accenture Luxury Shopping Survey
Download the survey results. [PDF, 444 KB]
The data show an increasing trend toward consumers’ desire for a taste of luxury in their everyday lives and a willingness to spend a little extra for the experience. However, the emphasis is on small items. Indeed, more than half (57 percent) of those who intend to purchase luxury apparel will mix only a few luxury items into a wardrobe of more affordable clothing.
Additionally, the study found that having access to special deals and bargains through group membership shopping sites has invited more luxury purchases. Among the 23 percent of consumers who have bought luxury goods and services from an online group that offers exclusive discounts to members, 58 percent say these sites have increased their luxury spending.
The research indicates that today’s consumer is online savvy and always on the hunt for a discount, which is pushing brands to learn how to best leverage the growing number of channels consumers use to make luxury purchases.
As consumers show an increasing willingness to splurge on luxury, retailers and brands can build loyalty by offering a strategic selection of smaller-ticket luxury items to complement their more significant products.
Traditional retailers, online stores and even designers need to have a very compelling answer to the question: what is the advantage of buying from me? Without that answer, online price comparison engines, barcode scanners and shopping apps will win consumers over.
The study shows that luxury brands cannot rest of on the strength of their names alone. As consumers begin spending again, luxury brands must ensure that the quality and features of their products exceed the expectations their price tags set, or they risk losing consumers to a competing brand—luxury or not.
November 13, 2012
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