Luxury Brands and Retailers Still Have to Catch Up to the Digital Age

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Recently, we shared a few interesting statistics from this year’s Deloitte report on the changing landscape of luxury retail. One of the most salient points of the report was that luxury marketers must keep up with the shifting nature of luxury marketing channels, as well-informed buyers increasingly make purchases through flexible, technologically-rich channels.

According to a recent Luxury Daily article, luxury brands and retailers are particularly seeing the need to meet this challenge during the holiday shopping season. The article focuses on the results of research by Shullman Research Center and Kantar Media on what shoppers plan to buy during the 2015 holiday season. The research also examined data on where shoppers plan to buy from and what advertisements they remembered to help inform their decisions, as well as data collected from luxury brand and retailer budgets.

The data shows a significant discrepancy between where brands and retailers invest their advertising money and the channels through which buyers make their purchasing decisions. Out of 52 million luxury buyers included in the Shullman and Kantar research, the majority recalled advertisements from television and web spots, with recall of ads in magazines and newspapers lagging behind significantly. This was proportionate to rates of advertisement recall for all holiday shoppers.

However, both luxury retailers and brands continue to spend most of their holiday advertising on magazine and newspaper ads—nearly three-quarters of it, and the total expenditure on holiday season advertising makes up over one-quarter of marketing budgets on average. This trend is probably due both to the fact that print media is the traditional channel for holiday luxury advertising as well as the fact that print ads are less expensive than television spots.

While Luxury Daily assures that there is “no need for alarm” on the behalf of luxury goods marketers, the numbers show a distinct trend of consumers recalling ads from non-print sources and suggests that luxury marketers adjust their budgets accordingly. If anything, luxury brands and retailers must catch up on digital advertising. As Luxury Daily points out, luxury shoppers don’t necessarily buy online more than they do in stores, but they do a significant amount of research online, whether reading style blogs or browsing brand and retailers’ websites. They are also shopping earlier in the holiday season, which means that luxury brands need to think fast to stay relevant.


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