Despite continued economic concerns, approximately half of U.S. consumers intend to buy luxury items between November 2012 and May 2013, according to the newly released 2012 Accenture Luxury Shopping Survey. The report, containing responses from more than 2,000 U.S. adult consumers, found that 53% intend to buy specialty food or drinks, while 48% will purchase luxury clothing and personal care products in the next six months.
The reasons for luxury item purchases vary:
- Splurging on a small luxury is the number-one reason consumers will buy specialty food or drinks;
- Shoppers purchasing high-fashion items intend to add them to an overall “high-low” mix of wardrobe items (57%); and
- As many as 73% will buy a luxury personal care item because they believe these products are better for their bodies (39%) and improve their looks (34%).
“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,” said Tom Jacobson, Managing Director of the Accenture Pricing and Profit Optimization Practice. “Consumers want a taste of luxury in their everyday lives, and are willing to spend a little extra for the experience, but the emphasis is on small items. They may think twice about purchasing a new handbag, but shop for a wallet as an alternative.”
In each of the three small-product categories, consumers indicated a strong preference to complete purchases in a brick-and-mortar store when shopping for luxury goods: On average, 36% prefer to shop in a physical store while 19% prefer to shop online.
The study also found that showrooming plays an important role in luxury purchases: In the past six months, one in five consumers visited a store to experience a luxury product in person then purchased the product online. In addition, access to special deals and bargains through group membership shopping sites motivated more luxury purchases.
The survey also revealed that 75% of luxury consumers rank quality as the most important attribute of a luxury purchase, followed by 69% who flagged price as a key consideration.
Millennials said they are more likely than last year to purchase luxury items, while Boomers are less likely.