(NEW YORK) February 5, 2014 – The New York-based Luxury Institute asked consumers 21 years of age and older from U.S. households with minimum annual income of $250,000 about their views on incorporating technology in the shopping experience.
Nearly half (47%) of wealthy consumers say that a sales professional providing live chat or video assistance online would help them understand more product details, and 58% appreciate the convenience of instant answers. Only 15% of shoppers say that they have tried chat or video and refuse to do it again.
Wealthy shoppers do not mind companies collecting personal data and using it for customized marketing, but they do show strong distaste for clandestine data gathering via mobile phones, facial recognition software and GPS tracking; 69% say information collected in this manner is a privacy violation. Just 24% approve of retailers using facial recognition software to identify them and observe shopping habits.
Using technology in-stores to accelerate checkout is popular, but many affluent shoppers shy away from self-checkout. Almost three-fourths (73%) say that they appreciate the time savings of checking out via mobile devices instead of standing in line at cash registers. Although 45% say that self-checkout is more efficient, 44% prefer transactions with help from staff.
Technology has little to do with what wealthy shoppers desire most: free shipping and returns, cited by 92% of respondents.
“Habits of today’s wealthy consumer have increased the desire to browse, reserve and purchase using a mix of channels,” says Luxury Institute CEO Milton Pedraza. “Technology allows brands to leverage customer data and shopping habits, however salespeople still play a vital role into creating unique and engaging experiences.”