When asked to rate the reasons for purchasing luxury items, 87% of those surveyed in the UK as part of new research iopted for quality over the likes of exclusivity, elegance, tradition and high cost.

In all of the above, UK consumer opinion was in line with the more global viewpoint apart from craftsmanship, which 62% believed was the definition of a luxury product compared to 33% across the world.

These fresh insights form part of a study analysing luxury product purchases that was conducted by market researcher Albatross Global Solutions, in cohorts with Paris-based 1000mercis Group.

Albatross and 1000mercis polled over 3000 affluent global consumers who had purchased a luxury product in the past six months. There was also an even agenda split and spread among ages in respondents.

Inner reward

Most purchasers (38%) of luxury products do so for inner reward compared to just 11% who buy because of social acceptance. Whereas slightly less than a quarter (23%) liken it to being a status symbol.

Upon further examination of the feeling of inner reward, there were comments about buying luxury for self-fulfilment and an interest in life’s finer things. They may have little brand loyalty, but when they do invest in luxury they do so to reward themselves rather than show off.

Females, especially those aged between 26-35 and 56-65 in the UK, made up much of the demographic that looked for inner reward. They also bought bags over the likes of watches, apparel, luxury holidays and jewellery.

In-store research

Despite the internet being a source for vast amounts of information, the physical store is still considered the number one information channel for research before making a luxury purchase. However, digital does not perform too badly in the UK.

On social, the majority of respondents (74%) stated that they followed brands because they liked that particular brand. Meanwhile, 46% said they did it for information about events or new products and 24% wanted price promotions and deals.

Consumers in the UK (89%) reasoned that brand reputation was the most important factor for buying from one company over another, but product selection (78%) and brand values (52%) were not far behind.

As for post-sales communication, opinions are divided with 29% of UK respondents hoping to hear from the brand after a purchase compared to 22% who do not expect to be contacted.