Luxury shoppers are increasingly showing more preference for sustainable products and brands. Some are engaging in revenge shopping, while others are buying either high-end or low-end priced items, versus middle of the segment items. While COVID-19 has altered the buying habits of online consumers, luxury shoppers appear to be the most affected as the research below suggests.
Preference for Sustainable Brands
- Luxury consumers are increasingly moving towards sustainable shopping, whereby they are driven to shop for luxury items for “conscientious value” rather than “conspicuous value.”
- In this regard, luxury shoppers are willing to purchase from sustainable brands that incorporates their values and beliefs, including fair trade product consumption.
- On that note, luxury fashion consumers are expected to rethink and re-prioritize their fashion purchases to make them inconspicuous and more responsive towards sustainability and a clean environment.
- Luxury brands, including fashion retailers need to re-define their business models and develop authentic and responsible products over things like a catchy logo or brand loyalty strategy.
- The COVID-19 pandemic affects luxury shoppers in many ways.
- On one end, the pandemic could force consumers to indulge in hedonistic purchases aimed at making them feel better during these tough times, a concept known as retailer therapy.
- This retaliatory spending behavior is called ‘revenge’ spending whereby luxury shoppers purchase expensive products for ‘ego-centered’ values and how the product makes them feel regarding superiority, status, and well-being.
- Luxury brands then must deliver comforting shopping experiences to help consumers cope with a heavy emotional toll following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Silent Luxury Shopping
- Silent luxury shopping is emerging as one post-COVID-19 pandemic online luxury shopping behavior. Consumers are showing preference for unique items because of the emotional impact of the pandemic.
- Heavy emotional toll often causes luxury shoppers to shift behaviors towards “silent luxury,” whereby luxury shoppers opt for classic items, like craftsmanship and heritage than conspicuousness and “bling” purchases.
- Silent luxury is likely to continue even after the pandemic because more consumers are increasingly showing a big appetite for quality and values versus bling bling items.
Preference for High and Low Price Points
- During the COVID-19 pandemic, luxury shoppers online have shown more preference for either high-end or low-end items as opposed to middle of the range items.
- For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, more luxury shoppers are opting to purchase low-end handbags and small leather goods, versus high-end items like ready-to-wear apparel. Other categories like children’s apparel seem to be performing well despite the pandemic.
- Regarding spending, millennial luxury shoppers have not cut their spending compared to other adult segments. They are proving more resilient to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and are spending the most out there.
- Overall, brands need to adapt to these changes luxury shoppers are making and embed them into their merchandising and marketing strategies for a competitive advantage.