New York—The next top luxury shopping venue may be as close as a mobile phone or table computer.
In “Mobile Apps and Commerce for Luxury Brand,” a report from the Luxury Institute and Plastic Mobile released today, most affluent smartphone users who are downloading luxury apps are using them to find information on products, services or brands (56%).
“Luxury brands must acknowledge that the impact of technological advancements in the mobile space and find a humanistic way to connect and engage their consumers through mobile,” said Milton Pedraza, ceo at Luxury Institute.
According to the research, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Saks Fifth Avenue and Gilt Groupe are the most frequently downloaded apps by wealthy consumers who have luxury brand applications on their mobile devices.
And the vast majority of affluent consumers who use luxury apps like them—93% say they’ve had a good experience with mobile apps. Additionally, 71% say they feel better connected to the luxury brands after downloading or using their mobile applications. Another 64% says they view luxury brands that offer a mobile app more favorably than brands that do not have them.
‘Tremendous Emerging Opportunity’
Asked what they have come to expect from luxury brand mobile apps, 46% of the respondents said loyalty programs and 45% said access to sales. Other mobile services that these affluent shoppers like include: providing sales professionals with a mobile application that can specify details about products (53%), have the ability to check for sizes and availability in other stores (50%) and in-store product inventory (47%).
However, the in-store experience continues to dominate where they make their purchases. In fact, of the 63% of wealthy consumers who have made a purchase through their hand-held devices, only 20% actually bought a luxury product or service. Yet 45% preferred an in-store purchase experience.
Nonetheless, there is a “tremendous emerging opportunity” for luxury brands to connect with luxury consumers, say the study’s researchers. “The majority of luxury consumers who choose to shop via mobile report that there is no upper monetary limited on how much they would spend (72%).
“Mobile has been receiving a lot of attention in the retail space lately,” noted Melody Adhami, president/coo at Plastic Mobile, a mobile marketing agency. “The study suggests the mobile strategy for luxury brands must be about enhancing the in-store customer experience and using the platform to strengthen customer relationships.”
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