Quality, creativity and sustainability are the essential criteria demanded by luxury-goods consumers in the industry’s seven “pillar" countries*, according to the 2019 edition of Ipsos study World Luxury Tracking.
"Affluents are reinforcing their expertise regarding the products and services on offer. More than ever they are seeking exceptional quality and creativity, but above all to sustainable products," explains the market researcher. The sustainability of luxury items, or "products that have a long life span", is a priority for 84% of consumers surveyed, an increase of 6 points from the previous edition. This criterion is closely associated to expectations when it comes to brands’ environmental and ethical commitments, which is a priority in China in particular (90% of respondents). "Chinese consumers are increasingly concerned about ethics and ecology, especially 18-24 year-olds, 94% of whom affirm that a luxury brand needs to take a strong ethical and environmental stance. This rate is lower in Europe (61%) and the US (57%), however.
The importance of offering products that show "unprecedented creative audacity" is essential to 81% of respondents, representing an increase of 7 points across all regions, and particularly in Europe (+9 points). For the Chinese, innovation, when linked to "new technological performance serving creativity" is key for 90% of respondents (+4 points).
Luxury consumers are also seeking products of exceptional quality more than ever; 92% expressed this as their first criterion when making a purchase. "We are witnessing a true recognition of luxury brands’ areas of expertise, which means that consumers are seeking authenticity and meaning over an extended period of time," notes Ipsos. Other consumer priorities identified by the study include the expectation of a "fluid" purchasing experience between physical and digital retail as well as the importance of having access to personalized products and services.
*China, the US, France, Italy, Germany, Spain and the UK