Interestingly enough the institute saw fit to ask only women about their personal care shopping habits. All survey participants were questioned about buying apparel, shoes, and accessories in general as well as particularly about jewelry and watches. While, only “wealthy women were…asked about beauty products and handbags,” according to a media release from the institute announcing the study findings.
The study compiles survey replies from respondents earning, on average, $289,000 annually and with an average net worth of $2.9m.
Women in this consumer group tend to depend on the in-store experience to make purchasing decisions, notes the Luxury Institute.
The survey findings show, however, that a fair number of such women would rather not have the advice of sales staff. Only about “one-fifth (19%) of wealthy women prefer to learn about products in-store with a sales associate's help.” For cosmetics shoppers this number jumps to 29%.
Thus, “For wealthy women, visiting stores and looking at displays without help is the best method of finding out about new products in all luxury categories.”
Nonetheless, sales associates and the in-store creative and management teams have real relevance for luxury brands.
"With multiple points of information, wealthy consumers have become very savvy shoppers, but our findings show that brands and retailers should not underestimate the potential for sales associates to influence and drive purchase decisions," says Milton Pedraza, Luxury Institute CEO.
Building rapport and trust with luxury shoppers can make a difference. Pedraza notes that, “with proper training in relationship building, along with incentives to produce, store personnel can provide a significant boost to sales across luxury categories."
Online and mobile resources figure quite prominently in product discovery for affluent women. And fortunately for luxury cosmetic brands and beauty retailers, these shoppers are reliably visiting their sites for product information.
“Browsing a store website is the second-most preferred method of shopping, with 32% of wealthy women reporting this is how they discover new products, while 23% say they do the same at manufacturer's websites,” finds the Luxury Institute.