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Get to know the evolving Luxury Shopper

October 28, 2021

With online shopping skyrocketing in the last year and a half, brands continue to adapt to keep up with demand. Luxury goods sales, which once skewed towards in-store shopping, are quickly growing online.

To explore this in greater depth, Microsoft Advertising surveyed 1.4K people in the United States (U.S.) who have browsed, researched, or shopped for items online in one or more luxury categories: Handbags, Leather Goods & Accessories, Clothing & Apparel, Watches & Jewelry, Cosmetics, Makeup & Perfumes, and Wine & Spirits. We also took a deep look into the evolving Luxury Shopper persona and three others, such as Digital Nomads, which you can access in the free Life Reinvented: Emerging Consumer Behaviors e-book.

Online shopping is still growing, especially for luxury goods

Customers are increasingly accustomed to online convenience and selection. Luxury shopping is growing too, with 65% of respondents stating they will do more research, browsing, and shopping for luxury goods online in 2021 than in 2020.1 Shoppers aren’t just browsing. Purchase of luxury goods online is also growing, with 53% of respondents saying they will buy more online in 2021 than 2020.2 These shoppers like the variety and feel comfortable purchasing high-priced items sight unseen; however, they are researching online before purchasing.

Luxury Shoppers are 70% more likely than the average internet user to identify as shopaholics, spending a lot of time online browsing.3 For luxury brands and advertisers, this means that you need to be present during their research and online shopping journey. Showing up in searches is key, but so is having a seamless website and purchasing experience. Thirty-two percent of Luxury Shoppers on Microsoft Advertising state that a quick and easy online checkout process is a purchase driver for them.4

Features that get shoppers closer purchasing even before they click 

  • Multimedia Ads are innovative text and image ads with the look and feel of social ads.
  • Ad extensions grab attention and position your message pre-click.

How buyers search for luxury items

Across all five categories of luxury goods, the first shopping action taken after viewing an ad on television (TV), print, or other medium is to search. This means that any luxury ad campaign should include a complementary search campaign. Be sure to bid against keywords used in your print or TV ads to show up when Luxury Shoppers respond to your ad. Research shows that 78% of Luxury Shoppers on Microsoft Advertising properties use their mobile phone as a second screen device when watching TV – so search is at their fingertips.5

Luxury Shoppers using multiple search engines spent 32% to 105% more on goods and services than those who use only one search engine.6 They’re switching between work and life, on multiple search engines and on many devices throughout the day. In fact, Luxury Shoppers on Microsoft Advertising are 52% more likely to own 5+ devices to access the internet.7 They’re using Microsoft Bing or Yahoo 42% of the time, so without advertising on Bing, you’d miss nearly half of the searches of this valuable shopping group.8

Graph shows how shoppers using more than one search engine split time. Google use is 58%25 and Bing/Yahoo is used 42%25.

Luxury Shoppers on Microsoft Advertising

This type of shopper is unique and even more exclusive on Microsoft Advertising. Microsoft Advertising reaches nearly 52 million Luxury Shoppers in the U.S., and over half are not found on Google.9 Here’s what the data shows:

  • 71% are under age 45.
  • They’re 48% more likely to value sustainability.
  • Over half earn $85K+ annually.
  • They’re 60% more likely to be brand loyalists.
  • 45% expect transparency about the use of their data.

More ways to connect with the premium luxury audience

[1] 2021 Luxury Shopping Study, Microsoft Advertising, J. Randolph.
[2] 2021 Luxury Shopping Study, Microsoft Advertising, J. Randolph.
[3] GWI, US, June 2020-June 2021.
[4] GWI, US, June 2020-June 2021.
[5] GWI, US, June 2020-June 2021.
[6] 2021 Luxury Shopping Study, Microsoft Advertising, J. Randolph.
[7] GWI, US, June 2020-June 2021.
[8] 2021 Luxury Shopping Study, Microsoft Advertising, J. Randolph.
[9] GWI, US, June 2020-June 2021.


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