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Luxury Shoppers 'Find' their Way to the Store

While upscale shoppers end up in the store when buying luxury goods, mobile interactions along the way can influence the outcome.

As might be expected, wealthier consumers are relatively tech-savvy. However, a recent study shows that when it comes to luxury purchases, eight to nine out of 10 of their most recent luxury purchases were done in a physical store.

The study, conducted by Ipsos for Google, aimed at looking how wealthy shoppers around the world research and buy luxury items.

While almost all buyers are online, they use multiple devices to stay connected. Most of them also go online to research before they purchase in-store, bolstering the notion that mobile makes shopping an interactive rather than a serial process.

Most luxury buyers – as in 9 out of 10 --  research before buying, many of them using the internet. We also know from numerous studies that internet access and use is migrating to mobile in a big way.

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The luxury retailer that misses this can be severely impacted since mobile shoppers are not making their purchase choice at the actual point of purchase but during other phases of the Mobile Shopping Life Cycle.

Influence points along the path can include marketing from competitors, comments from friends and family, reviews, deals and even flash sales.

As you might expect from a study funded by Google, researchers found that most (92%) of luxury buyers use the internet to search for information prior to purchase.

And this is where mobile comes in. In a desktop search, consumers are searching and browsing, and may compare product A to product B. They essentially are doing a general search.

With mobile, they are more likely in a find rather than a search mode, looking for something based on a different context than a general search.

They could be looking for something based on where they are at the moment and looking to find the location with the best price for a specific item and where the product is in stock now.

The study found that about half (49%) of luxury buyers say buying online can be done anywhere, anytime. About half also said that purchasing online leads to better deals.

Many of those better deals are going to come based on where the mobile empowered consumer is at any given moment and on their timeframe.

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