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Rise of the millennial consumer boosts US online luxury sales

Published
today Feb 1, 2019
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A recent report from the NPD Group has identified an increase of almost 50% online luxury sales made in the US over the last few years, with the growing shopping trend proving to be particularly popular among millennial women.


The proliferation of online retail platforms is "elevating the competitive landscape" in luxury e-commerce, according to Marshal Cohen of NPD - Instagram: @therealreal


Overall, 60% of the consumers included in the report conducted with reference to Checkout e-commerce data stated that they mostly or only shop for luxury products online. Among these, 13% shopped the category exclusively online, while 47% also used other channels, despite a marked preference for e-commerce.
 
More specifically, 25 to 34-year-olds were found to be the most likely demographic to shop luxury online, while two thirds of online luxury shoppers were found to be women.

“The luxury market is evolving, new brands are getting attention, and online retailer platforms are elevating the competitive landscape,” explained Marshal Cohen, chief industry advisor at NPD, in a press release. “The younger, multi-ethnic demographic that is more attracted to purchasing designer products online – even more than the average online accessories, footwear, or apparel buyer – is a major contributor to this evolution.”

Broken down by product segment, luxury apparel was identified as the fastest growing category, having seen a 17% increase in annual spend per buyer over the past few years, to reach an average of $716. Fashion accessories have also experienced a 5% rise to a $782 average spend per buyer.

These increases were achieved even as frequency of purchase in both categories remained relatively stable.
 
It is footwear, however, which accounts for the highest average annual spend on the online luxury market, with an average that has increased 4% in recent years to $794. Purchase frequency in the category has also increased slightly to 1.6 times per year.
 
Overall, the footwear category accounts for almost half of online luxury fashion dollar sales.
 
Interestingly, men, who make up 31% of online luxury shoppers, were found to have a preference for buying luxury accessories online.
 
The Checkout e-commerce data used by NPD takes into account over 600 online retailers and more than 3 million consumers.
 

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