Apps Make Affluent Feel 'Connected' To Their Luxury Brands

Lookbooks-BVery high-end brands such as Tiffany’s, Rolex and Gucci have become familiar sponsors of many smartphone and tablet apps in the last year. And for good reason. The rich like their apps the same as everyone else. Well, different apps, perhaps. According to new research from Luxury Institute in partnership with mobile marketing agency Plastic Mobile, apps from Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Saks Fifth Avenue and Gilt Groupe are the most downloaded by affluent smartphone owners.

The majority of these wealthy app users are downloading the branded experiences in order to find information on products and services. And a large share of these luxe app users (93%) say they have had good experiences with the apps. Perhaps more importantly, 71% report that the app experiences make them feel “better connected” to the high-end brands. Clearly, it is important for the high end to be present and accessible on devices, since 64% of these app users say they view brands with mobile apps more favorably.

Ironically perhaps, the wealthy appophile brings to her luxury brand apps a bargain hunter’s sensibility. Almost a majority (46%) expect the app to feature loyalty programs and preview sales (45%).  

While the high-end demo does embrace apps, they seem to be especially interested in enhancing the still-treasured in-store, personal service. For instance, almost half of respondents said they liked the idea of having salespeople armed with mobile apps that could offer more detail about a product and check availability. Overall, 45% say they still prefer shopping in-store, and only 20% of the affluent respondents who have make a purchase via their mobile device did so for a luxury item. The good news is that the wealthy are not averse to m-commerce. In fact, 72% put no monetary limit on the price of an item they would consider buying via their mobile device.

For the wealthy, at least, mobile apps are critically important to maintaining a relationship to their most treasured brands. But just as clearly, the affluent want their apps to support and enhance the live retail experience and the personal service they seem to identify with these brands. Membership has its privileges.   

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1 comment about "Apps Make Affluent Feel 'Connected' To Their Luxury Brands".
  1. Josh Schiffman from Xtify Inc , May 1, 2012 at 2:34 p.m.
    Very interesting data. Thanks for covering it. I’m sure the brand managers who put their careers on the line to back their brand’s app project are ecstatic to hear that 71% of survey respondents feel better connected! One important element to the app strategy has to be how the brand is going to continue to grow and solidify the relationship with their customer. A download on the phone is not enough. A well thought out (and highly relevant – see your article "3DBT: Location Awareness Is Behavioral Targeting With A New Dimension"), targeted, and relevant communications strategy is critical to the brands’ apps continued success. Using great push notifications (the only way to reach a customer who hasn’t given you their phone number or email) is how you can reach that consumer – even when your app is sitting idle on the phone or tablet. It’s how you keep you, as we say at Xtify, create great relationships with your (mobile) customer.