WSJ - Annalect

WSJ: Affluent Shoppers Look for High-End Customer Experience

Luxury brands may want to focus on customer service more than celebrity marketing to court high-end shoppers this holiday season.

Affluent consumers expect purchases from high-end brands to also come with high-end customer service, according to a new study from Annalect, a division of Omnicom Media Group.

Nearly two-thirds of affluent shoppers, defined in Annalect’s report as adults between 18 and 59 years old with an annual household income of more than $150,000, said they expect a highly customized experience when purchasing luxury goods. More than 300 individuals were interviewed in Annalect’s study between May and June.

“The idea of ‘luxury’ [goes] beyond just the price tag,” said Annalect’s director of primary research and insights Pam Marsh. “It’s also about quality and exclusivity that really make a brand or a product category luxurious.”

A brand can come off as luxurious by touting the quality, design and service of their products, Annalect researchers said. The overwhelming majority of affluent consumers in the study said they’re motivated by the craftsmanship or design and styling of a product to make a luxury purchase. In addition, 71% of respondents said the after-sales service is an important factor behind a luxury purchase, while 64% cited the in-store experience as a driver. Only 17% said they’re motivated by a celebrity endorsement to purchase a luxury brand.

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