SOURCE: Luxury Institute, LLC

Luxury Institute, LLC

April 30, 2014 12:21 ET

High-Income Shoppers Reveal How, Where and Why They Like to Buy Luxury Goods

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Apr 30, 2014) - The independent and objective New York-based Luxury Institute has released the second of three multigenerational studies of U.S. consumers, 21 and older, with minimum annual household income of $150,000 per year. Respondents shared details about their most recent luxury shopping experiences, providing valuable insight into shopping behaviors unique to each generation. The age bracket for the Millennial generation ranges from 21 to 34, Generation X includes 35 to 49 year olds, and the Baby Boomer generation starts at 50.

The popularity of online purchases, even for luxury products and services, has risen dramatically. Right now it's an even split between clicks and bricks: 43.5% of consumers surveyed saying that their last purchase was made online, and an equally-sized 43.5% also said they last bought a luxury item in a store.

Unlike the popularity of the online channel overall, growth of mobile shopping in the luxury industry remains slow. The vast majority of recent online luxury purchases were completed on a computer, and only 2% made via smartphone. Affluent Millennials have been quicker to embrace on-the-go mobile luxury shopping.

The various sources of influences consulted prior to a purchase show the biggest generational differences. They all gather information from brand websites, online consumer reviews, friends and family and sales associates, but Baby Boomers are far less likely to be swayed by advertising than younger shoppers.

Millennials prefer to conduct research in-store before purchasing online, and they are also open to receiving emails or text messages from luxury brands, or even individual salespeople. The 21 to 34 year olds are also the group most likely to engage with companies on digital platforms like social media and mobile applications.

"Luxury brands are still trying to understand how to capture the loyalty of affluent Millennials, because that really means cultivating the next generation of consumers and keeping your brand relevant," says Luxury Institute CEO Milton Pedraza. "Understanding diverse shopping behaviors of different generations of wealthy consumers is essential for catering distinct marketing strategies that resonate with each of them."

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