The Data Digest: Profiling Chinese Luxury Shoppers

One of my responsibilities at Forrester is editing our Technographics® research deliverables globally. In recent years, we have regularly published reports on consumer behaviors in emerging markets, including the BRIC countries. One aspect of this global data really intrigues me: the success of luxury brands and the profile of luxury goods buyers in these markets.

China has emerged as one of the world's largest luxury goods markets: According to the World Luxury Association, shoppers from Japan represent 29% of the world market share of luxury goods sales; China, 27%; Europe, 18%; and the US, just 14%.

How are Chinese luxury goods buyers different from their non-luxury goods buyer counterparts? Forrester's Technographics® data shows that Chinese luxury goods buyers are similar in terms of age and gender to non-luxury buyers, but they tend to have higher incomes. However, they differ significantly with regards to lifestyle and social attitudes.

A recent Forrester report "Selling Luxury Goods To Online Shoppers In China" shows that despite the broad appeal of luxury goods across demographics, there is a difference in where consumers of different income brackets purchase luxury products. Shoppers in the high-income bracket are far more likely than lower-income consumers to go to a luxury brand's website to buy products, whether they end up buying from a localized site for China or a brand's global website. But their expectations aren’t always met: While some luxury brands have gone live in China with localized sites — examples include Louis Vuitton and Chanel — today’s online luxury goods experiences are, in general, rarely compelling.


Interesting article. Not

Interesting article. Not suprising that China is number 2 on the list of the world's luxury goods market. BRIC countries represent a large percentage of the world population so seeing that China is at 27% of the luxury goods market makes sense. I was a bit suprised that the U.S. came in at 14% considering that the assumption made on Americans is that we are very materialistic in nature.

Tony, It is a bit interesting

Tony, It is a bit interesting to find U.S. at 14% because US tend to be more materialistic. I thought they would be a little higher but considering how the economy the last few years, it's not that surprising. China and Japan are not that shocking because they are more advance not only in their technology but they are one of the fashion countries in the world.

Michelle, do you believe that

Michelle, do you believe that Americans are materialistic or do you believe that is just pure assumption because of the lifestyle that Americans try to lead? Others, I believe make these assumptions because it is what Americans give off. Yes, I believe the 14% is very representative with the slow down in the economy and having the direct affect on making buyers more cost conscious.

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