Internet

Luxury websites are falling short of the Chinese market

Isaac Mostovicz writes that that luxury brands are going to have to keep up with technology if they are to remain at the top of China's luxury markets...

A recent report by a research company has found that many of the American and European luxury brands that are making huge profits in China are failing to deliver an online experience that appeals to an increasingly technologically savvy Chinese market.

Sales of luxury goods in China are growing fast, with the sector set to be worth £9.3 billion by the end of 2014. China is expected to overtake Japan as the global largest consumer of luxury goods in 2015, and in 2020 the Chinese luxury consumer base is predicted to double to 160 million people.

The Chinese are also going online in unprecedented numbers, and by 2015 there is set to be over 750 million internet users in China, with a significant number of these accessing the internet on mobile devices. Increasing access to the internet and rapid developments in technology are seeing Chinese consumers finding new means of purchasing online.

In order to make the browsing and buying experience as engaging and appealing as possible to consumers, brands are going to have to bring newer technology into stores, on mobiles and to people’s homes. Luxury brands are going to have to be innovative, creative and at the cutting edge of technology, or they risk being left behind.

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Lifestyles of the Rich and Online

Isaac Mostovicz writes...

money

Recently I was able to review a Jupiter Research report about the behavior and habits of wealthy people online. ‘Demographic Profile: Affluents Online’ (released March 1) describes the types of activities affluent people do online, how many hours per week they devote to media, and what types of online content they trust. The data comes from a recent survey Jupiter Research conducted in 2006.

It’s a pretty interesting report, though not very surprising. Without revealing too much of the report (you can purchase it online here), affluent people (defined as those with incomes of $100,000 or more) have greater activity in every online category Jupiter identified except for adult content and gaming. The gap between affluents and nonaffluents was particularly large with regard to financial services (understandably) and engagement to social media (i.e. instant messaging, reading/writing blogs).

Affluent people spend more time engaged with media compared with nonaffluent people, especially with regard to listening to music (5 more hours per week than nonaffluents) and going online (3 more hours per week). Affluent people are also generally more skeptical of online advertising, though 70% trust product reviews and other opinion on companies’ websites (compared to a 66% trust level from nonaffluent people).

Knowing what affluent people do online certainly helps luxury brands and retailers know where to direct their marketing efforts. That affluent people trust product reviews on company websites is interesting; perhaps it shows that the money luxury brands spend to develop interactive websites is money well spent.

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