Cultural consumers share traits of luxury consumers. They are educated and economically advantaged. In a recent report from Deloitte, luxury brands will need to up their game in technology if they are to remain competitive with the emerging Millennial consumer.
When I read the Deloitte’s second annual Global Powers of Luxury Goods report that analyzed the global luxury sector, the impact of technology was especially interesting, with regard to how Millennials will demand a dimension of technology to everything. As such, Millennials are motivating a wave of big change: “Several key aspects of the luxury sector will be unrecognizable in the next few years,” according to Patrizia Arienti, fashion and luxury practice leader at Deloitte.
The reality is that most Millennial consumers are still cost conscious. But the report predicts that they will quickly enter the luxury market, bringing technology demands with them to disrupt the space.
The shift is inevitable. Consider these stats:
- 58% of Millennials now go online to search for information on luxury items, including travel options.
- 31% use social media for gathering information around discounts and promotions, compared with just 10% for older luxury consumers.
Customer experience still a critical
Yet there is still a value to the retail experience with Millennials. Three quarters of the younger group described the most important benefit of buying luxury in-store as the ability to touch and feel products. Many also valued knowledgeable sales associates and service.
Speaking at an event in Monaco, Arienti further stated that, “The luxury space can create powerful experiences that will help to positively influence societies and cultures.”
Bottom line: successful luxury brands will increasingly experiment with tech and experiential platforms to promote their products in three ways: nurturing sales talent, celebrating history and culture, and increasing their charitable support.