Luxury consumers will spend over €9,000 on this Christmas
10 December 2014
- The internet is growing in importance, but luxury consumers still value the physical experience
- 74% of luxury consumers are regular social media users, but just 4% use it to influence their luxury spending
- Only a third of high-earning men will have started Christmas shopping before December, compared to half of women
Luxury consumers across Europe will spend just over €9,000 on gifts this festive period, according to research from Deloitte, the business advisory firm. They will spend an average of €4,400 on others, as well as €4,700 on themselves.
The research, which looks at European luxury shopping habits over the Christmas period, highlights the growing significance of the internet in luxury buying – notably in the UK – but also the importance of the physical experience. Although most purchases are still made in-store, 38% of UK luxury consumers said they did the majority of their Christmas shopping online, while almost two thirds (60%) used a combination of in-store and online buying and browsing. In the UK just one in 10 (12%) shopped exclusively in-store, compared to one third in the continental European markets, indicating luxury consumers on the continent place more value on the touch and feel of the goods, as well as staff knowledge and service.
While 79% of UK luxury consumers said they were active users of social media, only 4% said they would use social media to gather information to support their Christmas purchases.
Nick Pope, co-lead of Deloitte’s fashion and luxury practice in the UK, said: “The vast majority of luxury purchasing still happens in the physical domain – it’s clear that the ‘digital switch’ has been slower in luxury goods, as people like to see and touch the range of products, and often take them away on the spot.
“One of the great surprises is how little influence social media seems to play in influencing the luxury consumer. This could indicate that while social campaigns may seem successful, the consumers they are engaging with may not be the ones who are actually buying. However, it’s clear the effect of digital channels is growing. The key challenge for luxury brands is how to use these channels to influence their perception and position in the mind of the luxury consumer, rather than just being a route to purchase.”
When asked about the most expensive gifts they have ever bought, 20% of luxury consumers cited travel and hotels. This is a far higher proportion than the next most popular - and more traditional – categories of clothes (12%) and jewellery (11%). With an average spend of €5,600, travel and hotel gifts are also more expensive than categories like watches (€3,500) and handbags (€1,200).
Pope added: “With travel and hotels increasingly taking such a large share-of-wallet away from traditional luxury items, consumers are demonstrating the value of ‘experiential luxury’, rather than just the physical. A big question for the traditional luxury goods companies is how they can compete in this area.”
Confirming what many already suspected, the research also shows two thirds of male luxury consumers do not start buying gifts until the first week of December – whereas over half of the female high-earners will have started Christmas shopping at some point throughout the year. Men are also likely to spend more, with 67% spending over €1,000, compared to 55% of women.
Notes to editors
In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte LLP, which is among the country's leading professional services firms.
Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see www.deloitte.co.uk/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.
The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.
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