Millennial and Gen Z consumers are embracing luxury fashion. The average luxury consumer in these generations owns nine luxury fashion items across accessories, apparel, and footwear, according to A Millennial Approach to Luxury, a recent report from The NPD Group and Stylitics. But they have a different style when it comes to the purchase journey. This younger luxury consumer favors the convenience and extensive browsing ability afforded to them by online shopping, but also appreciates the luxury in-store experience.
“The value of a luxury product is not lost on Millennials and Gen Z—just the opposite,” says Marshal Cohen, chief industry advisor for The NPD Group. “The younger luxury consumer demands the quality and cache expected from luxury items, but they also expect the shopping variety that allows them to find something unique.”
Millennial and Gen Z luxury consumers identify highly coveted or prestigious brands, product quality, distinctiveness, and timeless style as their top personal criteria when making a luxury purchase decision. The endless brand, product, and shopping options available to today’s luxury shopper make it easier for them to get the item and overall experience they are seeking.
They favor pure-play websites and department stores with multiple brand offerings. Options mean research and planning—nearly three-quarters said their favorite luxury purchase was planned in advance and they knew where they wanted to purchase it. More than half of Millennial and Gen Z luxury consumers prefer to shop mostly or only online, but more than a third prefer in-store luxury shopping. In-store browsing influenced more shoppers in their latest luxury purchase than any other factor, including needs around a personal event or occasion.
“The multiplatform shopping experience has become as important in the luxury market as it is for retail in general,” said Cohen. “The luxury shopping experience is no longer an ultra-exclusive one. It’s now about experiencing the options and brands through mobile apps and inviting in-store environments.”