When it comes to buying fashion and luxury goods online, millennials and Gen Z are leading the charge. In our research for the State of Consumer Attitudes on Ecommerce, Fraud & CX 2021, we discovered 40% of millennials and 21% of Gen Z are most likely to purchase luxury goods from online retailers.
In recent years, fashion and luxury goods have caught the attention of so-called HENRYs (high-earners-not-yet-rich), and retailers are seizing the opportunity to attract these customers as they ascend toward wealth.
HENRYs most often fall into the millennial demographic — the very same group that made up 31% of online luxury brand visitors in the U.S. in 2020.
While many consumers in this category were more frugal in 2020, they're heading back to pre-pandemic spending habits. Bain revealed in late 2021 that all personal luxury goods except apparel were back to pre-pandemic levels — and there is hope for apparel manufacturers as HENRYs and other consumers begin to seek out occasion clothing again.
Global luxury retailers who offer an online store presence will benefit from aligning their offerings and customer experience with the needs and interests of younger shoppers.
When it comes to buying luxury goods online, there is no battle of the sexes: In our research, the pool of respondents who are most likely to buy luxury goods online was evenly split down the middle between self-identified males and females.
Traditionally, men have been the bigger spenders on luPart of the reason behind this pattern is because some of the highest-value luxury items like jewelry have traditionally been purchased as gifts – traditionally from men to women. However, that pattern is beginning to change. In the past five years, jewelry brands and fashion search platforms have noticed a marked increase in the percentage of women buying fine jewelry for themselves.
There was, however, one group that was overwhelmingly not likely to purchase luxury goods from online retailers: The respondents who identified as "other/non-binary."
While this group was small — only 1% of our total respondents — we thought it noteworthy that 88% of them avoid buying luxury goods online. As younger generations are more likely to identify within this category, luxury retailers may want to ask what's needed to bridge that gap.