Concerns about the state of the global economy don’t seem to be slowing the worldwide appetite for luxury goods, according to research released by business consulting firm Bain & Company in October 2012. In fact, total demand for luxury goods has remained very strong, with worldwide revenues estimated to have grown 10% in 2012.
Growth in Asia-Pacific, driven by China, is expected to be especially sharp, with sales jumping by 18%. Men, too, were making a name for themselves in the worldwide luxury goods market, accounting for an estimated 41% of purchases in 2012.
Online sales for the luxury sector were also expected to see strong growth in 2012, driven in part by increased competition among online pure plays, department stores’ retail sites and brands with their own online stores. The online personal luxury goods sector was projected to see a 25% increase in 2012, maintaining the same pace of annual growth since 2010.
Online retail outlets selling items at a discount were expected to account for an increasing portion of overall sales. Full-price sales were expected to account for 67% of online luxury goods revenues in 2012, with sales of “off-price” merchandise making up the remaining 33%. In 2009, discounted luxury merchandise accounted for 25% of the luxury retail ecommerce market.
The growth of luxury ecommerce has not been lost on marketers. A January 2013 survey of worldwide luxury marketers conducted by Worldwide Business Research and ShopIgniter showed luxury marketers’ interest in growing their digital visibility. Eighty-five percent of respondents planned to increase their digital marketing spending this year, with 72% planning to up the ante on social media specifically.