Oct 10, 2022
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Cross-border luxury e-tail sales rise strongly

Oct 10, 2022

The global economic backdrop may be turbulent, but cross-border luxury sales have been increasing this year, new research from online DTC specialist ESW revealed on Monday.

Photo: Pixabay/Public domain

It said that cross-border e-sales of luxury goods rose 17% in the first half with Chinese shoppers in the driving seat here, along with those from South Korea and the UAE.

The top three most shopped cross-border markets for luxury goods were the US (56%) in number one spot, followed by the UK (32%) and then France (29%) and Italy (25%). British luxury products were purchased most frequently by shoppers in the UAE and China (both 40%), India (39%) and Japan (38%).

ESW’s Global Voices: Consumer Pulse 2022 survey of more than 14,000 consumers across 14 countries, seems to show that despite ongoing economic uncertainty, geopolitical instability, and the resulting downward pressure on household budgets, many luxury shoppers around the world are just carrying on as usual.

A fifth of consumers (21%) purchased luxury goods internationally — led as mentioned by shoppers living in China (46%), South Korea (36%) and the UAE (34%).

So what exactly have they been buying? Well, handbags and accessories are high on the list (44%), along with clothing (42%) and jewellery (39%). These were the most popular luxury product categories that were shopped cross-border.

In fact, ESW said that international sales of handbags/accessories and jewellery were higher than those in domestic markets (40% and 33% respectively) with shoppers citing “satisfaction with previous cross-border purchases (31%) and a lack of availability in their home-markets (27%) as the key drivers behind their decision to purchase from international luxury brands”. 

It's also interesting that a sizeable majority of cross-border luxury buyers (70%) are happy to forgo the in-store experience in order to access the products they're buying quickly online. That said, they still have high expectations when they buy online with 79% saying “they expect the exceptional, personalised customer service experienced in-store to be replicated”. 

Natashia Redfern, VP UK Country Sales Director at ESW, said that the growth this year is particularly impressive given the backdrop and the fact that sales in the luxury category grew 50% in 2021 cross-border.

She said this “showcases the impressive work luxury retailers have put in to recreate the in-store brand experience online to win conversions and customer loyalty.  Additionally, brands and retailers must take note, the data clearly shows a positive previous cross-border purchasing experience is the key driver for engendering customer loyalty and repeat purchasing long-term.”

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