Ipsos has just published its annual barometer study World Luxury Tracking dedicated to the luxury market. The 2018 edition analyzes the trends and expectations of consumers in 5 countries of the “Great East” area: China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan and Russia.
Octobre 2, 2018 | Anais
World Luxury Tracking is a study of the luxury market led by Ipsos. Each year, this observatory analyses trends in a key area and allows brands to better understand the uses and expectations of luxury consumers in a defined geographic area. The 2018 edition focuses on the “Great East” area, made up of China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan and Russia.
“Consumers’ relationship to Luxury is changing, we can see this in the diversification and multiplication of points of view highlighted in the answers to the survey’s historical questions. It is also manifested more candidly and spontaneously in the images analysed through our Artificial Intelligence. Luxury is no longer just supported by brand addicts, it continues to widen its audience, appealing to be people who are receptive to values of creativity and authenticity. Now more than ever it has become a vector for self-consecration, a means to celebrate one’s success, but expressed in a manner that is fitting with high standards of quality in regards to products and services“, say Françoise Hernaez Fourrier, Head of Strategic of Ipsos.
In order to identify these profound cultural changes, Ipsos focuses this year on the Chinese, Japanese, Hong Kong, South Korean and Russian clientele thanks to data collected through a quantitative study of 5,700 interviews, as well as new approach data in topic modeling allowing to analyze the speeches and the photos of the Affluents coming from these 5 countries.
Luxury as a personal development tool, but always in relation to the community
A luxury for oneself, appropriate, which makes it possible to express all the facets of its individuality, is clearly affirmed in Asia. It can be lived with discretion (87% of people surveyed expect luxury stores to respect and protect their privacy). Luxury, considered a social marker for 79% of consumers, is also a tool of power for women.
Chinese, more than others, express this necessity to display signs of belonging, with the rise of the female consumers. They account for 40% of Maserati‘s sales in China, choosing the most powerful and expensive models. Luxury brands target more and more female customers with exclusively female VIP events.
This growing desire for personalization is particularly expressed by the Millennials (86% of them) and is starting to increase significantly in the over 50s (74% of them).
The nearest circle remains the main source of influence. However, 44% of tributaries keep an opening to the world with 91% of Chinese, curious to discover the latest fashion trends when traveling abroad.
Fashion remains the most-purchased category by 54% of the tributaries of the area. But each zone is characterized by cultural specificities with an interest for specific categories: success of very high-end beauty products for the Chinese tributaries, luxury glasses for the South Koreans, fine wines and spirits for the Russians. We also note the affinities of some brands that have a notable success with dedicated local collections, such as the Matriochka capsule collection, dedicated to Moscow’s D&G boutiques.
A cooler, more conscious and more mindful materialism
Respondents are seeking excellence rather than escape. To satisfy them, luxury brands will more than ever have to live up to their promises in terms of quality and service (key values expressed in the survey and in the verbatim of the modeling topic). For 90% of them, the confidence they bear in a brand is materialized in the authenticity and the very high quality of the product. Note however that Japan is a bit of an exception in the area, the Japanese are more sensitive to the dimension of escape carried by luxury.
This need for a tangible reality is confirmed by the fact that few of them shop online. For 76% of respondents, the first obstacle to digital is the need to reassure oneself through the sensory experience of their future possession. The Chinese respondents, however, show a particularly strong interest for the web with 62% of them who make their purchases there (against an average of 37% on the total of the zone).
But we are witnessing a re-foundation of values with the creation of the Redress Design Award, a competition for green innovations in the luxury textile ready-to-wear sector in Hong Kong. In Japan, for example, 19% of respondents want brands to be more involved in ethical and ecological issues.
A realliance between fluidity and intensity to enhance consumer satisfaction
If 37% of online purchases are traditionally motivated by rational reasons (more choice, attractive prices), they are now also boosted by emotional reasons, including peace and fun. Beyond the fluidity of the service, we note that exclusive stores brands remain the preferred place of purchase. They allow the Affluents to live a true sensory experience, and to appreciate an exceptional service (85%), tailor-made (82%) and to immerse themselves in the history of the brand. 95% of respondents prefer the physical experience in store, precisely because it allows to be advised and accompanied in their purchase. The benevolence of human relationships in service and the comfort felt in store are key elements for these consumers.
But the study also reveals that they are more and more invested in their purchases abroad with 77% of respondents who have traveled
the last two years. This figure rises to 80% in China and 96% in Hong Kong. Shopping is one of the main reasons for these trips with 93% of Chinese and 63% of Russians know exactly what they will buy before going to their destination. Duty free purchases offer an opportunity to optimize travel.
This circulation offers a playground for brands that would better support them on the move. Take a look at the fun initiative in Gucci’s exclusive Travel Retail eyewear collection: airport podiums such as Shanghai, or Haitang, and an app to play with specially created filters before publishing it on Instagram or WeChat.
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