While the Wall Street Journal announced 'Gleam Returns to Luxury Sales,' many of the nation's affluent consumers see mostly gloom ahead, reports Unity Marketing
In continuing signs of struggles among the luxury consumer market -- the 'heavy lifters' in the overall retail economy -- Unity Marketing's exclusive Luxury Consumption Index (LCI) retreated in October 2010, dropping 6.2 points to 72.1 points. According to the latest survey of luxury consumer confidence among 1,364 affluent luxury consumers (avg. income $298.3k; net wealth $7.3 million; 46.3 yrs; male 47 percent; female 53 percent). These results have important implications for marketers and retailers preparing for the 2010 holiday season.
Luxury consumersstarted 2010 with a feeling of optimism that the worst of the economic turmoil was over. But through the course of the year, reality hasn't lived up to those expectations, so we have seen a retreat of the LCI throughout the year," says Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and author of the upcoming book, Putting the Luxe Back in Luxury. "Lower levels of affluent consumer confidence are playing out in terms of reduced of spending on luxuries. In the third quarter, affluent consumers spent 1.4 percent less on luxuries than they did in the second quarter, with declines seen in expenditures in most of the 22 categories of luxury goods and services included in the survey.
Fewer consumers 'traded up' to luxury in 2009 as the share of aspirational luxury market consumers fell sharply
The growth burst that luxury marketers enjoyed due to aspirational consumers 'trading up' is over, as luxury marketers must now focus on the ultra-affluent consumers with high level of disposable income
Unity Marketing has just published its annual report on the state of the luxury market. The Luxury Report 2010: the Ultimate Guide to the Luxury Consumer Market, provides detail data about the purchase behavior and spending patterns of the nation's most affluent consumers from 2007 through 2009. In addition to its focus on historical shifts and trends in the luxury consumer market, it gives marketers a forward-look into the future trajectory of the luxury consumer that will transform the luxury market in 2010 and beyond.
Luxury marketer Edible Arrangements uses consumer insights strategy to grow their gifting business
The need to buy a gift is an important reason why people go shopping. That makes the gifting consumer market an important part of the retail economy. An estimated $1 out of every $10 spent in a GAFO store is made to buy a gift, according to a new Unity Marketing study of the gifting market, The Gifting Report 2010: The Ultimate Guide to the Consumer Gift-Giving Market.
While most marketers pay careful attention to the gifting opportunities of the year's major holidays, many overlook those gift-giving occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, baby showers and friendship/just because gifts that occur randomly year-round. "Marketers miss out on gift occasion sales because they haven't done the research to uncover gifting's hidden revenue potential," says Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and lead researcher on the new gifting study.
Unity Marketing's exclusive Luxury Consumption Index dropped back from 86.9 points, the highest level reached since September 2007, to 77.6 points
Commenting on the backward slide the LCI, Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing said, "The rise in the index back in January was a result of new year optimism. Even though the index dropped 9.3 points in April, it is still higher than it was in October 2009. Thus there is every indication that the recovery as measured by luxury consumer confidence is slowly but surely on track. Yet the decline does predict a slow down in luxury expenditures."
The LCI is calculated from the results of Unity Marketing's quarterly Luxury Tracking Survey, conducted April 6-10, 2010 among 1,245 affluent luxury consumers (avg. income $331,500; age 45.6 years; 42 percent male/58 percent female).
How the Affluent Luxury Consumer Uses the Internet and Social Media
The social shopping site Woot (www.woot.com) is the very definition of "sticky". This site encourages users to check back every day to find the latest deal on a luxury item that is only available until stock or time runs out (each deal is only available until 11:59 p.m.).
Social shopping sites combine the best of both internet and bricks-and-mortar shopping experiences. "They offer the thrill of the hunt, the challenge of visiting time and again until the perfect item is found, and the satisfaction of landing a deal. Plus they are destinations of choice for the smart, savvy shopper. It is no wonder these sites are so popular among young affluents," says Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing.