Amazon.com Ranks as the Favorite Shopping Website for Luxury Consumers
Unity Marketing survey of luxury consumers and their use of the Internet underscores its vital role as a resource for luxury purchases
It is likely to be a "Cyber Christmas" for luxury shoppers this year as more affluent shoppers turn to the Internet to do their shopping. In the latest survey of luxury consumers' spending and purchase behavior, Unity Marketing found that the Internet ranked as one of the top three shopping venues in 12 out of 14 luxury goods categories.
“Just how important the Internet is to luxury shoppers is remarkable in light of the fact that the Internet accounts for less than 10 percent of all retail dollars spent," says Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and author of Shopping: Why We Love It and How Retailers Can Create the Ultimate Customer Experience.
This holiday season, when they shop online for gifts, luxury consumers are likely to turn to the websites that have delivered the luxury goods they most desire. Top on the list of luxury consumers' favorite websites is Amazon.com, according to the latest poll conducted by Unity Marketing among 1,074 luxury consumers (average income $150,200 and age 43.6 years).
"Amazon.com ranks number one for luxury consumers, owing largely to their wide selection of merchandise at attractive prices. They also have a track record of superior customer service and reliable delivery, all features that rank highly among the affluent shoppers.
"But perhaps their ultimate secret weapon in the war for more consumer spending is how Amazon.com offers repeat visitors new items that might interest them based upon past purchases. Amazon.com is way out in front of the other internet vendors because they are totally consumer-centric, using consumer insights to power their marketing strategy," Danziger explains.
Following Amazon.com in the ranking was eBay (#2), Nordstrom.com (#3), Macys.com and Overstock.com (tied #4) and Neimanmarcus.com (#5). A complete list of the websites named in the survey is available, click here.
Internet exerts a powerful influence on luxury consumers' purchases
The research study also found that over half (52 percent) of the luxury consumers of home luxury products and 46 percent of buyers of luxury fashion, fashion accessories, cosmetics, jewelry and watches used the Internet in support of their recent luxury purchases.
"The Internet has a powerful influence on luxury consumers in terms of their spending. For example, those customers who used the Internet for home luxury purchases spent 11 percent more on their homes, while those who used the Internet for their personal luxury purchases spent 12.5 percent more on average buying fashion, jewelry, watches and cosmetic products.
"They used the Internet to research purchases, especially to compare prices and read other customers' reviews, as well as to make purchases. The research also shows that they will visit a retailers' website to 'browse' before they head out to the store. The lesson is that luxury marketers and retailers that offer their customers a website get a significant return on investment in terms of more spending," Danziger says.
Many websites give luxury consumers what they are hankering for
When it comes to the features that luxury consumers value most in the Internet, the convenience of shopping at home is right at the top of the list, along with the wide selection of merchandise available online. They also are passionate about the tools that the Internet gives them to compare prices and evaluate product features. It saves them time and makes shopping less of a chore.
The many pluses of Internet shopping make up for any minor annoyances and inconveniences, such as shipping and handling charges and delays in receiving the merchandise. Other issues, however, are more of a hindrance to luxury shoppers. Some 35 percent of luxury consumers are very discouraged from using the Internet because of difficulties in returns and exchanges. And 21 percent are uneasy about making big ticket purchases, like kitchen appliances and jewelry, online.
"When asked what features were most important for a luxury shopping site to offer these luxury consumers, they were adamant about three features – in-depth product information and specifications, detailed product pictures and a flexible return policy. They were far less concerned with company or brand news, lifestyle content or a store locator, among other features," Danziger says.
For media: Charts, tables and graphs are available on request
For media: Charts, tables and graphs are available on request.