Last week, I presented Leapfrogg’s first piece of customer insight research of 2012 at SheerB2B, the conference specifically for retailers in the premium and luxury sector.
We will be producing a piece of insight into the premium retail industry each quarter this year and our first research piece focused on exploring the habits and behaviours of consumers purchasing premium products and services.
As the UK economy slides back into recession, the news agenda is packed full of doom and gloom about consumer spending on the high street and we were interested in finding out what the reality is for premium brands who sell online.
Significantly, 61% of premium UK shoppers say they will not reduce their online spending habits in 2012. Great news for premium and luxury brands reading the Government’s gloomy economic report from Q1. Indeed, 30% of our survey respondents claimed they are actually planning on spending more in 2012 than they did in 2011, due to increasing levels of good service and confidence purchasing online.
We also uncovered some surprising details about who the ‘premium retail customer’ actually is. The average household salary of our premium shopper respondents was just £23K per annum – really exploding the myth of who the premium retailer customer is and inspiring us to dig deeper into this in our next quarter’s research.
We also looked at how the premium retail shopper uses the internet during their buying journey. More than a third of consumers use the web to compare and check prices. For 20% of respondents, online search is used for product inspiration and research. Surprisingly, only 14% use online to search for offers or vouchers, reinforcing what we’ve believed for a while, that retailers need to focus on the longer term investment in providing genuinely quality products, competitive pricing, useful information and great service over quick-win approaches such as voucher codes. There’s no doubt that voucher code sites and smart tactical pricing to help shift stock and introduce new customers to your products plays a part in a rounded multichannel approach. However, maintaining a ‘bigger picture’ focus and protecting your brand equity is key.
Naturally, 39% of respondents said that lower prices would encourage them to spend more with a premium brand in 2012, but excitingly for our clients currently looking at developing better relationships with their customers, 21% of our respondents claimed that the proven quality of a product and great service is enough to encourage increased spend this year.
We’ve put together this infographic to bring to life the stats that we believe to be the most noteworthy from the research, but the full report, complete with advice on what to do next and actionable insights for brands, is available to download at absolutely no cost!