• Insight: Prestige

The luxury fashion industry is a niche segment, aimed at providing top notch fashion items to an exclusive clientele. Needless to say, this section of the study explores how customer expectations and needs are met in the luxury segment of the global fashion industry.

Why do people shop for luxury brands?

When a shopper comes to a prestigious outlet, they’re looking for a very particular experience. Many customers shop exclusively at these luxury brands and build their entire fashion existence based on specific brands. Their expectations tend to be different – higher! – than mainstream or even mid-luxury shoppers.

In this sense, it may be surprising that only 38% of salespeople at luxury outlets highlight brand benefits, for example. It’s probably safe to assume that when a luxury shopper comes to a store they are expecting the best quality and service.

Shoppers cite several reasons why they purchase luxury brands, the opinion polls show that the top three of these reasons are:

  • 1. Quality

  • 2. Prestige

  • 3. Design

It’s safe to assume that these are the elements they look for in a luxury brand. Ironically, nearly all three make it to the top three of highlighted benefits during the sales process. The only difference is that staff prioritize durability over prestige; which might be better mentioned as part of a product’s quality to allow for more emphasis on the prestige of owning it.

Top 3 Benefits Staff Highlight:

73%

Quality

53%

Design

38%

Durability

Tell them what they want to know…

The Product Feature Customers Wanted to Know vs. The Product Features Staff Highlighted

  • Craftsmanship

  • Material, Fabric

  • Price

  • Colour/Size Range

  • Care Advice

  • Material, Fabric

  • Colour/Size Range

  • Specifications

  • Craftsmanship

  • Care Advice

It’s clear that luxury shoppers are more interested in the craftsmanship of available products. This is a contrast from the other fashion industry segments, where shoppers want to know about the colour, style, and size ranges. Customers certainly believe that with a luxury product a salesperson should be able to provide information about the style and model of a product, as well as its price, but also details about the history of the product and the brand. Again, most luxury fashion sales staff have this under control, with the exception of prioritizing product and brand history, which they replace with how to use a product.

What Customers Expect Luxury Staff to Know vs. What Luxury Staff Focusses On

  • Style, Colors, & Models Available

  • Prices

  • Product/Brand History

  • How to Use/Wear the Product

  • Servicing, Warranty & Repair Information

  • Product Manufacturing Process

  • Product Distribution & Delivery

  • Style, Colors, & Models Available

  • Prices

  • How to Use/Wear the Product

  • Product/Brand History

  • Product Manufacturing Process

  • Servicing, Warranty & Repair Information

  • Product Distribution & Delivery

Let them try it…

As seen with the other segments, luxury brand shoppers want to try the product in-store. This is an opportunity for staff to validate a customer’s choice, to compliment them on a decision and to make additional recommendations. In fact, 83% of shoppers want staff to encourage them to try a product on, and 91% welcome further suggestions for cross- or upsell products.

Unfortunately, the data reveals that luxury brand staff do not realize this, with only 73% offering customers encouragement to try on a product and only 52% making additional recommendations – that’s nearly 40% difference!

Hard won, easily lost…

Given the exclusivity of clientele, customer loyalty is a precious commodity in the luxury segment. What’s more, because the expectations are so high, trust and loyalty are also that much easier to lose.

Top Frustrations of Luxury Brand Customers

  1. Unfriendly/Inattentive Staff
  2. Insufficient Product Knowledge
  3. Pushy Staff
  4. Long Waiting Times
  5. Product out of stock/Size not available
  6. Unsuitable Recommendations

© AQ Service International 2016  | The Global Fashion Benchmark Report, all content thereof, research contained therein, and all data are copyright of AQ Services International. You may not reproduce or communicate any of the content, including all data, without the express permission of the copyright owner.