New research indicates retail display and store atmosphere are crucial factors influencing the shopping habits of wealthy shoppers.
A recent study conducted by the Luxury Institute analyzed the shopping patterns of 1,600 customers who reported an annual income of $150,000 or more. The study found women are more likely to take product display into consideration when deciding which merchandise to buy than they are to seek advice from a sales associate or research information online.
Women were the group in the study most likely to walk into the store with no idea of what they were going to buy and make decisions based on visible merchandise and store layout. Over 50 percent of women surveyed would buy fashion accessories and luxury items based solely on what they experienced in the store.
Men were more likely to do their research beforehand. Male customers also prefer to shop online and are less likely to seek sales associates for help. Some do take store design into account, men will rely on store displays 40 percent of the time when buying fashion accessories.
Stores wishing to attract wealthy clients should ensure their displays facilitate a simple and informative shopping experience. The Retail Doctor, a marketing consultant, advised retailers on visual merchandising strategies that appeal to wealthier demographics.
First, wealthier consumers prefer simple, open layouts. Stores should design their store with clean lines and natural materials. Simple metal retail display fixtures or finished wooden shelves are ideal. All displays are spaced out and given their own area. Managers want to use natural lighting whenever possible, but energy-efficient lighting can be utilized to highlight certain features. Signage should give information about the merchandise but hide the price tags.
Stores need to have sales associates ready to help and promote online, but to follow recent trends, a physical retailer's space must employ an atmosphere of elegance and simplicity.