Luxury Institute News

September 11, 2012

Wealthy Shoppers Rank Experiences At Online-Only Luxury Retail Sites Ahead Of Traditional Brands; Barneys is best among brick-and-mortar but MR PORTER, SSense prove more pleasing

(NEW YORK) September 11, 2012 – Wealthy shoppers with minimum annual income of $150,000 rate the online experience at websites of 10 traditional luxury retailers and 16 online-only retailers in the 2012 Luxury Online Experience Index (LOEI) survey by the independent and objective New York-based Luxury Institute. LOEI scores include evaluations of a site’s navigation, visual appeal, selection of products, ability to deliver product feature information, ease of purchase, availability of human help and trustworthiness to keep personal data.

It appears that upstarts have made quick inroads. One-year old men’s luxury site, MR PORTER, earns the highest score (86) of all retailers, online and traditional, followed by fashion site SSense (85) and My-Wardrobe and Shopbop (both 84). NET-A-PORTER and Zappos Couture earn scores of 83 and 82, respectively.

Barneys New York earns the highest LOEI score (84) among luxury retailers that also operate physical stores, followed by Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Intermix and Scoop all with 82.

Nordstrom is the brand most likely to be recommended (92%) and the site that most wealthy shoppers plan to return to for their next online shopping experience. Among online-only sites, Zappos is the most recommended (88%) and eBay Fashion Vault (95%) enjoys the highest rate of return visits.

“Online luxury retail proves that smaller and newer brands can shake up incumbents with the right technology, product mix and site design,” says Luxury Institute CEO Milton Pedraza. “The proliferation of web and mobile shopping truly creates opportunity.”

Respondents reported average income of $310,000 and average net worth of $3.6 million.

About the Luxury Institute (www.LuxuryInstitute.com)
The Luxury Institute is the objective and independent global voice of the high net-worth consumer. The Institute conducts extensive and actionable research with wealthy consumers about their behaviors and attitudes on customer experience best practices. In addition, we work closely with top-tier luxury brands to successfully transform their organizational cultures into more profitable customer-centric enterprises. Our Luxury CRM Culture consulting process leverages our fact-based research and enables luxury brands to dramatically Outbehave as well as Outperform their competition. The Luxury Institute also operates LuxuryBoard.com, a membership-based online research portal, and the Luxury CRM Association, a membership organization dedicated to building customer-centric luxury enterprises.

July 14, 2011

Wealthy Online Shoppers Rank Top Fashion Designer Websites; Ralph Lauren Attracts Most Frequent Visits But Bally, Chanel and Tory Burch Earn Highest Overall Rankings

NEW YORK (Jul 14, 2011) – Shoppers earning at least $150,000 a year reveal specific likes and dislikes about websites operated by 24 of the world’s leading fashion design houses in the new 2011 Luxury Online Customer Experience Index survey conducted by the independent and objective New York City-based Luxury Institute.

Bally earns the highest overall composite score, followed closely by Chanel and Tory Burch.

Affluent consumers rated sites based on visual appeal, navigability, product selection, use of images and text in helping them better understand product features, security of personal data, ease of purchasing and access to customer service.

“Many luxury retailers execute good online experiences while others show dramatic room for improvement in specific areas like navigability or ease of use,” says Luxury Institute CEO Milton Pedraza. “Luxury consumers are the only true judges of online customer experiences. They are eagerly waiting for the first luxury fashion brand that will deliver a seamless and fantastic multichannel experience.”

Wealthy shoppers considered a total of 24 fashion design sites:

1. Balenciaga 13. Hermes
2. Bally 14. Hugo Boss
3. Brooks Brothers 15. Jimmy Choo
4. Burberry 16. Louis Vuitton
5. Calvin Klein 17. Marc Jacobs
6. Chanel 18. Michael Kors
7. Coach 19. Prada
8. Dior 20. Ralph Lauren
9. Dolce & Gabbana 21. Tommy Bahama
10. Ferragamo 22. Tory Burch
11. Giorgio Armani 23. Versace
12. Gucci 24. Yves Saint Laurent

For greater details about wealthy customer preferences on all criteria for each of the fashion designer websites, visit LuxuryInstitute.com.

About Luxury Institute (www.LuxuryInstitute.com)
The Luxury Institute is the objective and independent global voice of the high net-worth consumer. The Institute conducts extensive and actionable research with wealthy consumers about their behaviors and attitudes on customer experience best practices. In addition, we work closely with top-tier luxury brands to successfully transform their organizational cultures into more profitable customer-centric enterprises. Our Luxury CRM Culture consulting process leverages our fact-based research and enables luxury brands to dramatically Outbehave as well as Outperform their competition. The Luxury Institute also operates LuxuryBoard.com, a membership-based online research portal, and the Luxury CRM Association, a membership organization dedicated to building customer-centric luxury enterprises.

For Further Information, Please Contact:

The Luxury Institute, LLC
Martin Swanson
Vice President
(914) 909-6350
mswanson@luxuryinstitute.com

July 7, 2011

Wealthy Online Shoppers Rank Top Luxury Retailer Websites; Nordstrom Is Most Visited While Barneys, Bergdorf and Brooks Brothers Tie For First Place Along With Net-A-Porter

(NEW YORK) July 7, 2011 – Wealthy shoppers earning at least $150,000 a year weigh in on their most and least favorite luxury retail websites in the 2011 Luxury Online Customer Experience Index survey conducted by the independent and objective New York City-based Luxury Institute.

Affluent consumers rated sites based on visual appeal, navigability, product selection, use of images and text in helping them better understand product features, security of personal data, ease of purchasing and access to customer service. They also indicated how likely they were to return to the site and to recommend it to family and friends.

Based on 1-100 composite scores, the top-ranked luxury sites are those of Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, Brooks Brothers and Richemont’s Net-A-Porter, each earning a score of 81. Nordstrom has the most frequently visited site, with 23% of respondents visiting Nordstrom.com in the past 12 months.

Wealthy shoppers considered a total of 16 retail sites:

Traditional Retailers:
-Barneys New York
-Bergdorf Goodman
-Bloomingdale’s
-Brooks Brothers
-Lord & Taylor
-Neiman Marcus
-Nordstrom
-Saks Fifth Avenue

Online Only:
-Bluefly
-eBay Fashion Vault
-Gilt Groupe
-HauteLook
-Ideeli
-Net-A-Porter
-Rue La La
-Shopbop

“Except for Net-A-Porter, key luxury multi-channel retailers significantly outperformed the pure online players, with the flash luxury sites being rated in the bottom tier,” says Luxury Institute CEO Milton Pedraza. “Although the pure online players are growing fast, it is becoming a commoditized product space where the only thing that matters will be long-term customer experiences as evidenced by high customer retention scores and increasing average spending. Net-A-Porter proves that it takes far more than content and algorithms to create lasting customer relationships. Online players should borrow a page from the Zappos playbook and create customer-centric cultures that Outbehave the competition. Customer-centricity is the sweet spot of success in the 21st century.”

For greater details about wealthy customer preferences on all criteria for each of the 16 online luxury retailers, please contact Martin Swanson.

About Luxury Institute (www.LuxuryInstitute.com)

The Luxury Institute is the objective and independent global voice of the high net-worth consumer. The Institute conducts extensive and actionable research with wealthy consumers about their behaviors and attitudes on customer experience best practices. In addition, we work closely with top-tier luxury brands to successfully transform their organizational cultures into more profitable customer-centric enterprises. Our Luxury CRM Culture consulting process leverages our fact-based research and enables luxury brands to dramatically Outbehave as well as Outperform their competition. The Luxury Institute also operates LuxuryBoard.com, a membership-based online research portal, and the Luxury CRM Association, a membership organization dedicated to building customer-centric luxury enterprises.

For Further Information, Please Contact:

The Luxury Institute, LLC
Martin Swanson
Vice President
(914) 909-6350
mswanson@luxuryinstitute.com