Luxury brands today more than ever must ensure that their ecommerce sites offer consumers the best levels of convenience
A recent report by the Shullman Research Center found that consumers across demographic categories, especially the ultra-affluent, will be shopping at online-only retailers this holiday season.
Although consumers will also be spending time in department stores and other retail locations, the prevalence of online-only retail preference speaks to a growing demand for convenience. As consumers weigh their purchasing options, the outcome often comes out in favor of online shopping.
“Convenience is incredibly important, particularly to the upscale shopper,” said Bob Shullman, founder/CEO of the Shullman Research Center, New York.
“Many consumers don’t know yet what they’re buying this holiday season, which means there’s still opportunity to convince these people to shop at your stores, whether online, bricks-and-mortar or both, and also to encourage them to buy whatever service or product,” he said.
The report showed that seventy-five percent of consumers with a household income of more than $500,000 plan to shop through an online-only retailer this holiday season. Although this does not mean that the majority of purchases will be made through these retailers, the inclination to shop online suggests a demand for convenience. The remaining 25% of affluent shoppers will mix it up, using both digital and brick-and-mortar establishments for their holiday gift-giving.
Luxury brands today more than ever must ensure that their ecommerce sites offer consumers the best levels of convenience.
The number one expected gift among the ultra-affluent surveyed was gift cards. Mr. Shullman stressed that since this is such a popular item — whether because of a lack of time or lack of confidence — retailers must ensure that gift cards are wrapped appropriately and are made easily accessible.
He also noted that many retailers do not place priority on gift cards, because they do not yield commission, which can fluster consumers. Looking to the holiday season, retailers should ensure that packaging for gift cards is appealing.
Other top gifts among the ultra-affluent include jewelry and travel. “If consumers want to give something as a gift card,” Mr. Shullman said. “[Retailers] have to make it look substantial.”
Above all, however, the most important part of affluent holiday shopping is the spirit of the holidays. Successful families strive for fulfillment by de-emphasizing the importance of possessions and stressing the significance of families working together to manage risk and achieve happiness in an uncertain world.