There are sharp contrasts in consumer attitudes and behaviours across generations with regard to luxury brands. A survey of high-income households by the Luxury Institute says the differences are most notable in the degree to which consumers have adopted new technology and how it has influenced their purchase decisions and shaped relations with luxury firms. Among U.S. consumers from households with minimum annual income of $150,000, 75 per cent of millennials (under the age of 35) and generation Xers (35 to 49) say that technology is changing the way they shop for luxury brands, and nearly three quarters of younger consumers also say that technology allows them to make more luxury purchases. Boomers (61 per cent) and consumers 65 and older (47 per cent) are less likely to acknowledge the influence of the web and mobile internet and its effect on luxury spending. The survey shows that while just 10 per cent of consumers 50 years of age and older prefer to shop online for luxury brands, 38 per cent of GenXers and 35 per cent of millennials prefer the online channel. Free shipping is the most widely desired feature of a luxury brand’s online shopping experience, particularly among respondents 50 and older. Younger shoppers are also likely to want the ability to shop for all items online and to receive product recommendations based on items they have viewed. Intergenerational differences are also evident in the influence of online and social media on purchase decisions. For example, 72 per cent of millennials and 51 per cent of genXers follow fashion bloggers, compared to just 15 per cent of boomers. Most importantly, 90 per cent of wealthy consumers who follow fashion bloggers buy from sites recommended in those blogs, making an average of 4.2 purchases in the past year.
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