Multichannel / Research and Intelligence

Wealthy Shoppers Lead the M-Commerce Charge

Expensive iPhone Case

Wealthy American consumers are at the forefront of smartphone app use and m-commerce, according to a study by the Luxury Institute and Plastic Mobile.

Market research firm, the Luxury Institute, has released a study in partnership with Plastic Mobile, which surveyed wealthy US consumers with an income of at least $150,000.

According to the report, 60 percent of the surveyed group owned a smartphone, of which more than 80 percent had downloaded an app. Surprisingly, only 12 percent had actually downloaded a luxury brand’s app, such as Net-a-Porter‘s mobile and tablet app, for example.

Luxury brands will be seeking to change this trend, as affluent consumers are adopting mobile shopping at a quick pace. The survey found that around two-thirds of participants shopped on their smartphones at rates of anywhere from ‘rarely’ to ‘regularly’. Of those, 63 percent reported completing an entire purchase transaction via their mobile.

Features expected from a luxury brand mobile app according to US affluent smartphone owners:

  • Loyalty programs – 46%
  • Early access to sales – 45%
  • Exclusive updates about new products or services – 39%
  • Exclusive offers for those who downloaded the app – 38%
  • Early access or sneak peeks to new releases – 36%
  • High-quality images and/or video – 36%
  • Services and VIP privileges for top customers – 36%
  • Ability to purchase from mobile device – 31%
  • Easy access to customer service from device – 31%
  • Extension of a brand’s website – 29%
  • Customisation base on consumer preferences – 28%
  • Recommendations based on personal preferences – 25%
  • Information unattainable via the website or in-store – 20%

Beyond this, the Luxury Institute also found that more than 40 percent of wealthy consumers who download apps are particularly interested in apps that can provide a secure and convenient means of making luxury purchases. This figure highlights a glaring hole in luxury brands in m-commerce, as there appears to be a high demand for on-device purchases for luxury items that simply isn’t being met by retailers.

The Luxury Institute in this case presents a useful ‘weather vane’ study for interested Australian brands. While the market and demand for luxury m-commerce shopping is no doubt smaller by comparison to the US, local audiences generally follow global trends. Even if there are fewer of them, affluent Australians can be expected to be looking more and more towards their mobile devices when shopping for luxury products.

Does your business have its own transaction-capable app?

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