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• Cognizant 20-20 InsightsLuxury Retail’s Evolving Landscape   Executive Summary                                       Spa...
The Evolving Luxury Landscape                Drivers for Consumers                                                        ...
The consumer attitudes that influence the two                 image. They need to give consumers a reason tosegments are, ...
Luxury Market by Category                                                          Among the product categories, leather g...
Asia’s Growing Luxury Market                                                                                             J...
among its audience. Ralph Lauren has embraced              how the product was received. Other countriesdigital marketing ...
•	 Predictive analytics can be used to identify            Conclusion      patterns and profiles of the most profitable   ...
About the AuthorMurali Ramesh is a Consultant in Cognizant’s Retail Practice within Cognizant Business Consulting,helping ...
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Luxury retail’s-evolving-landscape v3


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Luxury retail’s-evolving-landscape v3

  1. 1. • Cognizant 20-20 InsightsLuxury Retail’s Evolving Landscape Executive Summary Spanning the Globe The luxury goods market may appear to many as a Consensus opinion of economic experts suggests recession-resistant industry that generates over $1 that Europe is slowly sliding back into recession. trillion in revenue, but a closer look at the figures However, the revenues of retailers in this region suggests otherwise. Luxury retailers, which were have been fueled by tourists from Asia and China growing 9% annually a year before the recession, who shop in Europe to purchase high-end brands saw sales drop on average by more than 13 per- at lower prices. The U.S. appears to be recovering centage points from 2007 to 2009. Meanwhile, a bit faster. In the luxury segment, product luxury manufacturers saw their revenues decline categories such as shoes, apparel and leather are by an average of 21 percentage points.1 fast regaining momentum in the U.S. The market for luxury goods in Japan, meanwhile, has eroded The major industry brands have since overcome since 2007 (showing a 3% decline in revenue), their tepid performances and reported strong mainly due to a demographic shift.2 The reason: revenue gains, defying all signs of a turbulent luxury consumers from the ‘90s are either market in 2011. But the recession seems to be the retiring or becoming more conservative (due to game changer for a range of consumer behaviors a two-decade-long recession), thus leading to a that could be magnified in the coming days. And reduction in luxury spending. these changes could potentially redefine the business model of the successful luxury retailer One of the fallouts of the financial crisis is the over the near term. fact that APAC is gaining significant relevance as a result of the rising incomes of affluent With the advent of social media, the rise of households. China has emerged as the clear emerging markets and a refined and informed winner in terms of growth for luxury items, mainly generation of millennial consumers, the meaning due to a rising middle class that has exhibited a of luxury is blurring. It is no longer sufficient for demand for “aspirational” products. A big allure a product to exhibit rarity. Luxury products needs for luxury retailers has been the wealth accumula- to exhibit uniqueness coupled with product supe- tion in China. In fact, wealth has slowly percolated riority and originality, providing value for money from China’s large coastal cities to smaller cities in today’s frugality-minded reset economy. in the north and west. The luxury market in these regions is concentrated in menswear and This paper focuses on how the movement of the business gifts. industry’s target segment from classes to masses is affecting the luxury market and the impera- The idea of luxury arose from product attributes tives for retailers that wish to maintain or gain such as rarity, craftsmanship and exclusivity to market share. the individual. Most clothing, jewelry and acces- cognizant 20-20 insights | april 2012
  2. 2. The Evolving Luxury Landscape Drivers for Consumers Era of Diversification Combination of utilitarian and Strategy of hedonist attributes diversification with (2000 onwards). focus on select high Era of Consolidation quality products. Appeal to emotion, Revitalization of luxury charm and better with use of celebrities lifestyle (1985 – 2000). Era of Exclusivity to create an aura around brands. Materialistic view European family of exclusivity businesses centered (1970 – 1985). around craftsmanship. Wave of consumption Influx of capital, Increased consumption of of luxury goods in emergence of luxury in developing Europe. companies like LVMH, economies, financial crisis Hermes and Prada. and perils of recession looming on consumer mindset. Trigger PointsFigure 1sories brands like Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Chanel Unlike ordinary purchases which are bought toand Moët-Hennessy started as small family solve a problem or need, luxury products arebusinesses in Europe centered around creative purchased for the experience, by consumersdesigners. seeking self-esteem (self-actualization). It is not essential for survival but related to status, egoMajor European business magnates then began and psychogenic needs.merging their businesses under various differentumbrellas. The influx of investment banking The purchase of a luxury product provides thecapital led to brand marketing and an aura around consumer with greater joy and satisfactionproduct heritage and craftsmanship. Gradually than the economic value of the product itself.the saturation of retailers’ home markets in This utility could be derived either through theEurope and the U.S. and the emergence of selection process, the purchase experience, usedeveloping nations like China, Russia, Hong Kong, of the product or the pride derived from owningetc. pushed retailers to enter foreign markets the product. Luxury products are timeless classicsand diversify their product lines. Major luxury which generally don’t go out of style. They havegoods companies evolved from mono-brand to high recall value and exclusivity.multi-brand. Traditionally, brands have one coresegment, and additional one(s) for diversification The New Luxury Consumers(e.g., Armani, Bally, P.R. Lauren, Versace, E. Zegna The new luxury consumers are younger, betterand Choppard). informed, more exposed globally and hence more sophisticated. A large portion of these consumersWith the advent of social media, emerging are baby boomers4 who want to define their ownmarkets and an evolved and informed generation rules. These consumers are less materialistic andof consumers, the meaning of luxury is blurring. more experiential.It is no longer sufficient for a product to exhibitrarity. Uniqueness must be coupled with product A second set of consumers are generation X andsuperiority. Experiential luxury is beginning to Y5 who aspire to own these products. They save ingain greater market share over materialistic order to buy the best or take a short-cut (counter-luxury (see Figure 3). feit products) to gain status. These sets of people believe luxury is for everyone but different forTraditional Luxury Consumers everyone. These consumers are driven by theThe Maslow needs hierarchy3 would be a good need to buy and display. They believe luxury is astarting point for segmenting luxury consumers means of expression of status.from normal buyers of day-to-day products. cognizant 20-20 insights 2
  3. 3. The consumer attitudes that influence the two image. They need to give consumers a reason tosegments are, respectively: believe it is worth owning the product.1. A personal experience that is customized to Luxury markets are at a key inflection point. accelerate the “feel-good” factor. Post-recession, with the exception of a few2. Being part of the elite group for the aspira- leading brands, most of the smaller brands face tional class (e.g., products that transfer brand financial stagnation or decline. As illustrated personality to the owner). in Figure 2, consumers are becoming a bit more price-A recent study contends that emotional factors conscious, seeking higher exclu- Consumers areaccount for as much as 70% of the decision to sivity from the luxury brands becoming awarepurchase, with the balance based on rational they purchase. Consumers arefactors such as category attributes.6 Building and vocal about becoming aware and vocal aboutbrand credibility is crucial to influencing perceived their luxury brands’ sources of their luxuryvalue. Brand loyalty in luxury parlance is the origin, positioning and brand brands’ sources ofcontract between the retailer and the consumer, value. It therefore is becomingbonded by emotions that are difficult to replace. origin, positioning all the more important for luxury retailers to provide best-in-class and brand value.Key Trends service and create substantial It therefore isTo address the needs of a diverse audience, brand loyalty/affinity with theluxury marketers cannot rely solely on their brand becoming all the consumer. For luxury brands it is extremely important to build a more important for global footprint extending their luxury retailers to reach deep into growing marketsThe New Luxury provide best-in-class such as China and Russia. service and create Affluent consumer survey: The critical success factors for substantial brand luxury retailers in the days to shopping behaviors I’m doing more often come include: loyalty/affinity with compared to last year. the consumer. 2010 2011 • Managing the portfolio will be the key: Strategic focus on Using coupons/ the right category of products. direct offers. 32% 39% • Ride the emerging markets wave: Countries such as China, India and Russia provide ample growth. Waiting for items I buy to go on sale. • “Channel-ize”efforts to engage consumers: 31% Engage customers through e-commerce, 38% m-commerce and social networks. Buying less 17% expensive brands than 20% • Eliminate counterfeits: Roughly 7% (worth $6 I usually do. billion) of the entire world’s production is coun- terfeit. Educate customers on brand heritage and create awareness that products cannot be I believe that the brands I substituted. wear say a First Quarter lot about First Quarter • Technology-enabled creativity and advanced 2011 who I am. 2011 functionality: Use technology to provide 51% 41% superior customer experience. I am willing to spend more for designer Portfolio Management brands because they are the most stylish Luxury product players typically own a portfolio 51% and fashionable. 32% of various brands across different categories. The traditional categories include watches, jewelry, fashion, clothing, electronic gizmos andSource: Harrison Group and American Express Publishing alcoholic beverages. According to a survey byFigure 2 Boston Consulting Group (BCG), these categories cognizant 20-20 insights 3
  4. 4. Luxury Market by Category Among the product categories, leather goods and ready-to-wear goods have the greatest operating margins.9 Total Luxury Market ~ 1.1 Trillion USD Spas and Clubs Fashion and Clothing Cutting prices would not make much sense in Furniture 3% 7% 6% light of most luxury brand strategies, as price Leather Goods elasticity for most retailers is extremely limited Technology and Accessories 15% 7% and such cuts would hardly be rewarded with Alcohol higher demand (since luxury goods consumers and Foods 7% are historically less price conscious than other demographics are). However, retailers can have Watches and clearly demarcated product ranges addressing Jewelery various consumer segments. Swatch is one of the 15% few companies that has successfully expanded vertically across different price segments rather than horizontally across different luxury product Cosmetics and Travel Hotels Fragrances categories. It sells watches ranging from the 36% 4% very expensive (i.e., Omega) to the inexpensive namesake Swatch brand. Source: Boston Consulting Group Figure 3 Emerging Luxury Markets: China Economies like China were least affected by recession and are taking big strides to becoming (including travel, hotels, food, beverages and the next economic superpower. China is expected spas) represent a target market of $1.1 trillion to become the biggest luxury goods market USD7 (see Figure 3). worldwide within the next four years, and it will Brands continue to be the backbone of luxury consume 44% of the luxury market by 2020. businesses worldwide. Post-recession, luxury The greatest growth in the years ahead will goods makers have two options: either strengthen originate from the upper-middle class, rather their business vertically across different product than wealthy consumers. According to a study categories or horizontally from McKinsey, this segment accounts for across price segments. Post-recession, about 12% of the market, and its numbers are growing rapidly. By 2015 there could be 76 millionluxury goods makers Merchants, planners or buyers households in the income range (10,000-20,000 should be on a constant lookout have two options: for new, emerging brands. renminbi), accounting for 22% of luxury-goods either strengthen Success will be determined purchases.10 Studies also indicate that the majority of the luxury consumers in China are male and in their business by balancing the right mix of their 30s. brands within well-managed vertically across costs. Top luxury retailers are These new generation shoppers are most likely different product eyeing emerging Asian brands. to splurge on experiential activities such as categories or For example, a $650 million spas and travel rather than traditional products private equity fund backed by horizontally across LVMH Group is on the prowl for such as handbags, jewelry, fashion, etc. Twenty percent of Chinese consumers will spend more price segments. up-and-coming Asian brands in on “experiences” (i.e., spas, massages and other the hope of transforming them wellness activities) whereas only 13% will spend into global names. L Capital Asia fund has, so far, on products.11 spent a total of $90 million on minority stakes in two Singaporean fashion companies and a Luxury retailers in this market need to pay Hong Kong-listed watch and jewelry company. attention to the following: This suggests that large retailers are using their knowledge to connect and experience building • Most consumers would rather shop in regions like Europe and Hong Kong rather than luxury brands, or make the brands aspirational, to on mainland China. Retailers must create accelerate profitable growth.8 sufficient brand visibility in major Chinese tourist hot spots. cognizant 20-20 insights 4
  5. 5. Asia’s Growing Luxury Market Japan China 18% 9.2% South Korea 5.5% Taiwan India 3.2% 4.4% Hong Kong 4.4% Macau Thaiand 0.7% 1.1% Signapore 2.8%Note: Percentage revenue growth from 2010 to 2011Source: Bain Luxury StudyFigure 4• Brands have a low recall value which could be a growing 27% have bought via a mobile device. In boon to mid-tier luxury retailers but a bane to addition, 21% report that they use mobile devices established top-tier luxury retailers that cannot to look up respective product information while take for granted that their brand image will shopping in stores.14 carry over. Luxury products is more of a pull than a push industry; hence, large amounts of Many luxury companies have slowly begun to money need to be invested in advertising and embrace online and mobile channels. However, creating brand awareness. online/mobile channels can never be a substitute for the shopping experience delivered via the• With more and more luxury retailers eyeing this retail store, where physical-world ambience and lucrative market, the competition is cutthroat. aesthetics, as well as the tactile characteristics of To differentiate themselves, products sold by the product, can help make the sale. The online luxury retailers should exhibit Chinese heritage channel, however, can complement the physical and be designed to specifically reflect Chinese store and influence “connected shoppers” to culture. visit the store. Retailers can use this channel to educate consumers on brand heritage andChannel Optimization exclusivity.A recent survey indicated that four out of fiveaffluent luxury shoppers logged online in the For a luxury retailer, brand integrity, exclusiv-past three months from their desktop or laptop ity and value, outstanding service, convenience,computer to make a purchase, shop for a gift security, an appropriate degree of personaliza-or research a product or service.12 Turnover tion and consistency are mandatory attributes ofof high-end luxury brands via online shopping each and every reached a record high 10.73 billion yuan(68% growth) or $1.59 billion in 2011.13 Among luxury retailers, Nordstrom has con- sistently excelled in engaging customers withLuxury Institute research on the wealthy its cross-channel strategy. It has consistentlyconsumer use of mobile devices shows that 76% linked social media with innovative visuals andcompare prices via mobile devices, while a rapidly up-to-date search pages to create a “wow” factor cognizant 20-20 insights 5
  6. 6. among its audience. Ralph Lauren has embraced how the product was received. Other countriesdigital marketing using virtual fashion shows and must try to follow suit.interactive store windows to engage customers. • Brands such as Kate Spade and Louis Vuitton typically hire private investigators to find whereThe following should be applied by luxury retailers counterfeits of their brands are sold. They alsoto create a successful cross-channel presence: have their lawyer send a threatening letter in• Use strong video content to provide a more the hope that it will scare counterfeiters into exciting and engaging shopping experience. shutting down their operations. They also try• Encourage customers to engage in product to convince authorities to take action against feedback/ratings. these counterfeiters.• Provide detailed product description pages • LVMH Group has been battling fake product with 360-degree views to facilitate the sense makers for years using a buzz strategy created of “touch and feel.” through the combination of aspirational• Integrate the Website with Facebook and ads with famous attention-grabbing artists, Twitter pages. corporate sponsorships (LVMH Young Artists’ Award, LVMH Discovery and Education), VIP• Offer suitable smartphone apps; this is events (Louis Vuitton Classic, Louis Vuitton Cup) something affluent consumers have a strong and PR activities. The most attention-grabbing affinity for. event has been its highly priced and heavilyCountering Counterfeits promoted seasonal limited-edition bags. These fashion bags truly create an aura of exclusiv-Worldwide, it is estimated that counterfeiting ity and pride to the owners, thus discouragingaccounts for 5% to 7% of world trade. Nearly consumers from purchasing fake of all counterfeit sales are now Internetbased. The global luxury industry loses $250 Technology-Enabled Creativitybillion annually to counterfeit goods..15 China is Technology is making luxury more accessibleresponsible for the production of approximately and helping consumers who might be hesitant to85% of counterfeit luxury items (most of which enter a store experience luxury products in theare exported). When referring to counterfeits, it is comfort of their homes. Luxury companies aregenerally assumed that copied products not only using technology to target Millennials16 who enjoyruin the special status aspect of the original but using gadgets and technology. Technology usagealso contribute to a severe loss in exclusivity and is all about increasing customer touch points anduniqueness due to the availability of lower-priced providing a unique experience.fakes. The following technology innovations adopted byHere are a few tips to luxury retailers that can luxury companies are worth considering:break the vicious circle of counterfeits: • Augmented reality is enabling luxury brands• In most countries, consumers purchasing fake to introduce new product lines and promote products have found that filing complaints events with nominal costs. For example, with the vendors was not successful. There Tissot’s augmented reality campaign was more is no channel to authenticate the genuine- successful than any other marketing initiative ness of products. Boutiques selling luxury the brand had conducted in the UK; sales in the goods typically refuse to certify the authentic- Tissot Selfridges boutique rose 83%.17 ity of luxury goods. Government agencies can only examine the quality and ingredients of • In-store iPad app to supplement the sales associate. This app should offer interactive products, rather than their authenticity. Luxury services to address the consumer’s needs, companies must look to certify the authentic- attributes and preferences. Clinique has ity of their products similar to expensive com- developed the iPad Skin Diagnostic Tool to offer modities such as gold. boutique customers comprehensive advice• The French luxury sector has succeeded in and information regarding Clinique products. lobbying for domestic legislation against not Clinique reported sales increases as a result of only trading in counterfeits but also in using its iPad app of up to 30%.18 Equipping a sales and possessing them. If anyone is found with associate with an iPad enriches the brand a fake luxury product, he/she risks going to experience. jail for up to three years; the law doesn’t care cognizant 20-20 insights 6
  7. 7. • Predictive analytics can be used to identify Conclusion patterns and profiles of the most profitable Luxury brands can adopt a strategy to address customers, perform smart segmentations and the elite niche segment or offer another range execute automated marketing campaigns to of products, priced to attract the aspiration- improve sales.19 al masses. To sustain growth, it is becomingThe return on investment for luxury companies imperative for brands to diversify their portfolioon these types of technologies can be incredibly or expand their target segment.high, and helps in creating an aura that is unpar-alleled compared with traditional mainstream The future of luxury retailers will be shaped by fivemarketing methods such as advertising and print- important factors — brand heritage, exclusivity,based collateral. customer relationship, diversifying business and expanding into high-growth markets. Creativity, differentiation, social responsibility and customer relationship are pivotal for retailers to succeed.Footnotes1 “Five Trends that Will Shape the Global Luxury Market,” By Yuval Atsmon, Demetra Pinsent and Lisa Sun, McKinsey Study, December 2010.2 “Global Luxury Goods Worldwide Market Study,” 9th Edition, Bain & Co., October 2010.3 Theory in psychology, proposed by Abraham Maslow in 1943.4 People born from 1946-1964.5 Generation X: people born from the mid-1960s to 1980; Generation Y: people born 1980-2000.6 A recent study by brand and customer loyalty research firm Brand Keys.7 “New World of Luxury,” BCG Analysis, Ipsos market research, based on sample of 7,496 respondents who are in top half of luxury spenders in seven developed countries which constitute 75% of global market for luxury.8 brands-2011-05-119 “Tapping China’s Luxury-Goods Market,” McKinsey Quarterly, April 2011.11 “Understanding China’s Growing Love for Luxury,” McKinsey Consumer & Shopper Insights, March 2011.12 Survey by Unity Marketing.13 People in the age range 18 to 28.17 Centricity-and-Competitive-Advantage.pdf cognizant 20-20 insights 7
  8. 8. About the AuthorMurali Ramesh is a Consultant in Cognizant’s Retail Practice within Cognizant Business Consulting,helping retailers optimize IT and business processes. His areas of expertise include supply chainmanagement, business/IT alignment, business case preparation, business development and IT strategy.He holds an MBA degree in international business and a bachelor’s degree in computer science. Muralican be reached at CognizantCognizant (NASDAQ: CTSH) is a leading provider of information technology, consulting, and business process out-sourcing services, dedicated to helping the world’s leading companies build stronger businesses. Headquartered inTeaneck, New Jersey (U.S.), Cognizant combines a passion for client satisfaction, technology innovation, deep industryand business process expertise, and a global, collaborative workforce that embodies the future of work. With over 50delivery centers worldwide and approximately 137,700 employees as of December 31, 2011, Cognizant is a member ofthe NASDAQ-100, the S&P 500, the Forbes Global 2000, and the Fortune 500 and is ranked among the top performingand fastest growing companies in the world. Visit us online at or follow us on Twitter: Cognizant. World Headquarters European Headquarters India Operations Headquarters 500 Frank W. Burr Blvd. 1 Kingdom Street #5/535, Old Mahabalipuram Road Teaneck, NJ 07666 USA Paddington Central Okkiyam Pettai, Thoraipakkam Phone: +1 201 801 0233 London W2 6BD Chennai, 600 096 India Fax: +1 201 801 0243 Phone: +44 (0) 20 7297 7600 Phone: +91 (0) 44 4209 6000 Toll Free: +1 888 937 3277 Fax: +44 (0) 20 7121 0102 Fax: +91 (0) 44 4209 6060 Email: Email: Email:©­­ Copyright 2012, Cognizant. All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by anymeans, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the express written permission from Cognizant. The information contained herein issubject to change without notice. All other trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.