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London, UK – As the UK economy slides back into recession a significant 61% of consumers buying premium products and services say they will not reduce their online spending in 2012, as revealed by a survey conducted by Leapfrogg, the online retail marketing agency.
This is great news for premium and high-end brands in light of gloomy economic reports for Q1 of 2012, especially as 30% of respondents say they will purchase more online due to good service and increased confidence in using online channels.
This is even more surprising considering that the average household salary of respondents is just GBP23K per annum. To take advantage, retailers need to prioritise customer service during the online shopping experience and should include consumer research as part of their digital marketing strategy.
The survey reveals the significance of understanding the online shopping journey, with over a third of consumers using the web to compare and check prices. For 20% of respondents, online search is used for product inspiration and research. Surprisingly, only 14% use online to search for offers or vouchers, emphasizing the need for premium retailers to provide quality products, competitive pricing, useful information and great service over quick-win approaches such as voucher codes.
Naturally, 39% of respondents say that lower prices would encourage them to shop with a premium brand but refreshingly, for 21% of consumers quality of product and great service is enough of a pull to encourage a luxury spend. To remain competitive, premium brands will need to ensure that the communication of product information and an excellent shopping experience is provided.
Rosie Freshwater, managing director of Leapfrogg comments, “Premium and high-end brands shouldn’t be tempted to undersell themselves by overusing voucher codes and heavy discounting. Consumers are willing to commit to higher prices as long as the shopping experience and customer service is as good as their purchase.”
In relation to the importance of the shopping experience, Freshwater continues, “Considering customer needs and optimizing the online shopping journey at every stage is paramount for increasing customer acquisition and sales. Premium brands need to know their customers inside out and consider every angle of the shopping experience from the perspective of the consumer; this should be a core aspect of retail marketing strategy for high end brands.
Premium retailers need to make the whole consumer journey easy, from start to finish, not overlooking the importance of offline interactions such as delivery options and of course post-purchase customer care.”