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Luxury Shopping 2015: Only bloggers show signs of weakness

by Jens Barczewski , 23.11.2015

The internet is both market place and exchange platform – also for luxury buyers. Mobile devices keep paving new ways online for them when it comes to information about their favorite brands and online shopping. The good news for stationary trading: The special meaning of the point of sale will most widely remain unaffected by increasing online awareness since it is a place of unique brand and shopping experiences. Luxury customers value the internet above all as a source of information. While luxury brand and magazine websites benefit from it, bloggers as trend-setters, show signs of weakness and cannot fully replace print/online magazines.

This result was found by the Digital Luxury Study 2015, which was conducted by WHITE Communications with the support of BurdaStyle, SevenOne Media GmbH and the cosmetics association VKE Kosmetikverband. For the third consecutive time the market research institute GfK analyzed the search, information, Even if online activities from luxury customers keep increasing in importance, the point of sale remains the measure of all things. In addition, for the first time, market researchers have measured the of a brand experience with the aid of an own analysis tool. Finding their favorite brands at all touchpoints was considered positive by luxury customers. They appreciate the specialist shop the most, with 75% of all shoppers connecting it with a positive experience.

Luxury customers follow their very own roadmap while on their customer journey. On the one hand they prove to be down-to-earth and brand loyal, on the other hand, they like trying out something new. The study reveals that customers use all channels and forms of media available to them in order to get informed on luxury. We have gained exciting insights on how the so-called heavy buyers* develop their brand worlds, at which occasions, and the kind of media they specifically use for this purpose. Moreover the analysis about the connection between the online shopping world and stationary trading enables conclusions, among other things, on what the future stores of tomorrow and an increasingly hybrid customer approach should ideally look like. Thereby, blogs as touchpoints show great potential as well, provided they think of what makes them credible and strong in the heavy buyers’ view.

Despite the increasing online affinity of the target groups the point of sale asserts itself among luxury consumers as a real place of an emotional brand and shopping experience. Three quarters of all buyers connect the specialist shop with a positive experience. Future-Stores, which combine the online and offline shopping experience in a smart and attractive way, match the interests of luxury consumers extremely well. The study shows that the luxury buyers in particular have an open mind about something new in an increasingly virtual world, for instance about new information on products or special offers directly sent to their smartphones or tablets but also about mobile in-store navigation as well as playful and entertaining activities around the world of luxury products.

For more information, please contact Jens Barczewski at jens.barczewski@gfk.com.