October 6 2021  |  Industry News

m1nd-set research shows luxury shopper is changing

By Wendy Morley

According to the research by Swiss research agency m1nd-set, Covid has fundamentally changed the way luxury shoppers behave.

Increasingly, consumers are more socially and environmentally conscious since the pandemic began, and luxury brands, retailers and travel and tourism operators are responding.

The research explores how these changes in customer behaviour are already impacting the luxury retail sector, and also how travel retail will need to adapt to stay in line with consumer expectations.

As the research demonstrates, the Chinese consumer in particular is sensitive to “conscious consumption” as opposed to “conspicuous consumption.” This is reflected in part in the trend toward experiences versus products. Luxury consumers are seeking more spiritual and emotional experiences vs more ostentatious items. This has lead to growth in the luxury health and wellness sector. Additionally, the environment and being a part of nature are important aspects of these experiences.

Across all core categories, major brands are responding to the consumer call for greater responsibility and accountability.

Travel retail shoppers of luxury goods are more interested than they were pre-pandemic in finding different products and more sustainable packaging.

Comparing luxury shoppers now vs pre-pandemic, 25% said they placed importance on finding something different vs 18%. 20% said they were more conscious of product packaging vs 11% before. For non-luxury shoppers the numbers now are 21% and 17% respectively.

In line with this, 80% of luxury shoppers said they would purchase a duty free exclusive, up 28% on the 4-year average between 2017 and 2020 and 8% higher than among non-luxury shoppers.

Head of Business Development at m1nd-set, Anna Marchesini, commented on the research findings: “In all the years we have been studying shopper behaviour at m1nd-set, and looking back at previous decades before that, there has not been any occurrence which has had as much of a game-changing impact on the way shoppers behave. Luxury consumers have abandoned their quest for extravagance.”

“Given the shift towards more responsible consumption, Marchesini continued “and the shopping behaviour of luxury shoppers in travel retail, where we see consumers looking for more information on the products and services prior to purchasing, we believe there is a huge opportunity for brands. The most forward-thinking luxury brands in retail and in travel retail will seize this opportunity to educate consumers about the unique history and sustainable attributes of their products or services. The world has changed and sustainability is no longer a choice, but a requirement” Marchesini concluded.

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