May 14, 2013
Only 3 percent of affluent women and 9 percent of affluent men purchase designer apparel through their mobile device, according to new research by the American Affluence Research Center.
The “Affluent Marketing Tracking Study No. 23” found that half of affluent consumers who are purchasing designer apparel are making purchases online through a computer. Since both men and women are buying online, luxury marketers need to make sure their ecommerce sites are up to par.
“The greater number of people buying online versus mobile devices may be the result of online being more appropriate for a considered purchase, while mobile may be favored for more spontaneous and less considered purchases as well as for comparison shopping while in a store,” said Ron Kurtz, president of the American Affluence Research Center, Atlanta.
During the last year, 43 percent of affluent women and 20 percent of affluent men said they purchased designer apparel.
Affluent women seem to be comfortable making purchases online, since 51 percent report buying designer apparel online through a computer, while 44 percent made purchases in-store, 3 percent used a mobile device and another 3 percent made the purchase by phone.
Affluent men have similar designer apparel purchasing habits.
Half of affluent men purchased apparel online via a computer, 39 percent were made in-store, 9 percent were made by a mobile device and 2 percent made purchases by phone.
However, affluent consumers are also purchasing non-designer apparel. Sixty percent of affluent women and 26 percent of affluent men report purchasing non-designer apparel products.
Also, few affluent consumers researched a product online without making a purchase.
Thirteen percent of affluent consumers researched designer apparel online and 9 percent researched non-designer apparel and made no purchase. For both, women are more likely than men to do research online and not make a purchase.
Overall, the data shows that affluent consumers are buying all types of apparel products online.
“It was interesting to see that women are more likely than men to research and purchase apparel online,” Mr. Kurtz said.
“It was also interesting that the source of purchases had about the same profile or pattern for designer apparel as for non-designer apparel,” he said.
Stepping up ecommerce
Since affluent consumers are making most of their apparel purchases online, luxury marketers need to make sure that their ecommerce sites are able to take consumers easily through their purchase journey.
Many luxury marketers have recently revamped their Web sites to help online shoppers make purchases. This can be especially helpful for consumers who are not nearby retail location.
For instance, Italian label Missoni launched its Web site at the end of March to offer ecommerce and brand content on a signal platform just as other fashion houses are doing the same. The site opens with a runway video taking up the majority of the screen while more content is offered below the fold (see story).
Missoni's site below the fold
Also, menswear label Ermenegildo Zegna overhauled its digital strategy to combine content and commerce and offer a seamless Web experience to consumers in all global markets.
The brand reformatted its Web site to act as a hub for all brand happenings where consumers can access collections, ecommerce, company news and style guides. Zegna launched the Web site with a giveaway of a black satin bow tie accompanied by a video tutorial to the first 100 customers (see story).
Zegna.com's shopping menu
Luxury marketers should be aware that consumers are making online purchases and should make their ecommerce sites appealing to gain more transactions.
“Luxury marketers need to be responsive to the increasing orientation of affluent consumers to research and purchase online,” Mr. Kurtz said.
Erin Shea, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York