How Luxury Brands Can Connect with Their Next Generation of Shoppers

young people looking at laptops and phones

While luxury sales are increasing at an annual rate of 8.5%, sustaining this growth will depend on attracting and retaining a new generation of customers. Here we examine why younger generations are key to the future of luxury brands and what techniques will grab – and keep – their attention.

Meet your Next Generation of Customers

 

 

Own smartphones

Favorite social media channels

Average attention span (seconds)

Hours per week online (excludes work)

Millennials

93%

Facebook

Instagram

12

17.5

Generation Z

98%

TikTok

Snapchat

Instagram

8

15.4

These generations together will represent 45% of luxury goods spending by 2025.

 

AdobeStock_371888217-resizeWe are now in the Era of Digitally-Influenced Retail

80% or €198B of luxury sales today are digitally influenced, i.e., one or more digital touchpoints are visited during a customer’s shopping journey.

Luxury brand consumers are even more well-connected than the average consumer:

  Have smartphones Own multiple devices
Luxury Consumers 98% 77%
Average Consumer 65% 35%

Digital shopping is quickly gaining ground against the in-store experience, partially due to acceleration by the Covid pandemic. Even prior to Covid, physical luxury stores were evolving to become experience destinations and less a place to buy things, and by 2025, 19% of luxury sales are expected to come from online.

The shift to digital has also helped consumer posts to overtake corporate marketing. Consumer chatter about brands now dominates company posts:

  Chanel Valentino Louis Vuitton Balmain

Official Posts

(Instagram icon)

700

4,890

1,970

3,660

Hashtag Icon

(User generated mentions with the brand's name)

48,800,000

21,140,000

25,380,000

5,690,000

Using Technology (and Fun) to Woo Younger Buyers

Many luxury retail firms are finding unique ways to engage younger customers - and seeing positive results.

Gucci

Louis Vuitton

Among the first to partner with Instagram influencers

 Created Endless Runner, a 1980s-themed video game to tie-in with its collection

Offers online avatars wearing the latest from their collections

Hiring designers who appeal to younger clientele

Both are investing in Instagrammable pop-up retail experiences

These innovative efforts are paying off. In 2018, 62% of Gucci’s $8B sales came from under-35 and approximately 33% of Louis Vuitton’s 2017 sales came from millennials. This success has now motivated other brands to start getting in on the action.

AdobeStock_340996241_smaller-1 The “Millennial State of Mind” is Changing Buyer – and Brand – Behaviors

 

Millennial behaviors are rubbing off on other generations and creating a millennial state of mind that is driving brands to act.

 

This outlook is characterized by three main traits:

 

Uncertainty Urgency Unity

Increased digital interaction with peers when deciding to purchase

Younger buyers decide to buy 33% faster

(aka "I want it fast, and I want it now")

Expectation and loyalty to brands sharing their personal values (ex. climate change or sustainability)

How Can Luxury Brands Attract, Connect With, and Engage These Shoppers?

With data predicting millennials and generation Z will be the primary source of revenue for luxury retail by 2025, there’s no time to waste. Here are three ways luxury brands can start connecting with these new demographics now:

Become a values-based organization Unify digital and in-store experiences Upgrade and future-proof your technology
Define and align your beliefs with your employees and customers. Management and leadership should lead by example and support causes important to the organization that will resonate both internally and externally. Create a business strategy where digital and in-store experiences are complimentary, not competitive. Events, campaigns, and content should be interconnected so customers enjoy a unified and frictionless journey, no matter how they choose to interact with your brand. Invest in today’s technology to ensure your brand’s digital experience meets the expectations of tomorrow’s shoppers. Digital events and online experiences are now just as important as face-to-face interactions and are often what initially engages the buyer and draws them into the store.


AdobeStock_188398711-resize-jpg

Of course, managing this level of change and innovation can be challenging. To keep up with continuously changing markets, exploding amounts of content, and evolving customer expectations, your digital experience technology needs to be:

  • Smart
  • Flexible
  • Reusable
  • Composable
  • Optimized for speed and agility

This is what CoreMedia Content Cloud was designed for - and why it's the choice of leading global brands.

Powered by our hybrid headless CMS, fully-integrated DAM and multiexperience orchestration engine, CoreMedia Content Cloud supports all business models from B2C to B2B to B2E.

Want to learn how Content Cloud can help you? Contact us.

 

Other resources:

The Challenges of Branded Content in the All-Digital Era

3 Ways Luxury Retailers Can Win at Customer Experience

Personal Digital Shopping Reimagined

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About the Author

Mimi Moore joined CoreMedia in 2021 and is Global Content Marketing Manager. With over 25 years of experience working for technology and language services companies, Mimi is passionate about communication, the written word, movies and travel.