Chinese shoppers are becoming focused not only on quantity, but quality
Microsoft Advertising recently released a new “Luxury Connoisseurs” study, highlighting two very important developments in the Greater China luxury market that marketers and brands alike can’t afford to ignore:
It’s Not Just a Female Market, It’s a Male Market, Too
While we have always said the Chinese luxury market is largely dominated by female shoppers, male shoppers have increasingly become a consumer force as well. Sina Style has even gone so far as to claim, “Luxury [in China] is undergoing a gender transition.” According to Microsoft Advertising, male shoppers are 44 percent more willing to dig deep in their pockets for luxury purchases, out-shopping their female counterparts in nearly every category.
Though, as Jing Daily has previously noted, many of the purchases made by men in China are made with the intention of gifting to female recipients, Microsoft’s data indicates that more self-purchasing is starting to become apparent — a development with potentially major implications for male-dominated segments like luxury watches and automobiles.
You Have To Be Online
Echoing an assertion made in August by Jing Daily columnist Sonya Madden, Microsoft finds that brands must be active online to connect with Chinese consumers. With luxury consumers becoming highly digitally savvy, 72 percent of respondents in the study strongly agreed that the Internet is one of the most important means to stay up to date on luxury brands, 92 percent use online sources to learn about luxury products, and 81 percent employ social media, recommendations from bloggers and celebrity endorsements to help them make purchasing decisions. Even online advertisements play a vital role, as 61 percent of those surveyed said they would like to see more online advertising of luxury goods.
Other interactive formats such as video and rich media can encourage e-commerce as well. According to Heidi Lau, Head of Insights for Asia at Microsoft Advertising, “The Internet has revolutionized the luxury consumer journey. From building awareness to building an emotional connection through beautiful video and innovative ad formats, online media follows the consumer every step of the way. It cannot be ignored in marketing strategies.”
Tips for luxury marketers found in the study include:
– Communicate to luxury consumers via social networks and leverage endorsements from online experts and celebrities.
– Provide communication or messaging platforms that allow luxury consumers to share purchasing experiences among a smaller peer group.
– Use interactive online ad formats to create rich experiences that allow consumers to more deeply connect with luxury brands.