Milan, 3rd February 2014 – ContactLab, an international player in digital direct marketing products and services, announces today an exclusive preview for the international press of the key results of the Luxury Digital Behaviour Study (download the free abstract at The latest study offers new insight into the relationship between consumers and high-end clothing and accessory products in two particularly developed and competitive markets – the metropolitan areas of Shanghai and New York – and also measures the positioning and appeal of 20 luxury brands. The survey was carried out through a sample of around 1,000 residents between the ages of 25 and 54 in each city.

The Chinese market, seen from Shanghai, confirms its standing as a market offering enormous opportunities to companies that produce high-end products: in the last 12 months four out of five individuals in the Chinese city have bought at least one luxury item, spending on average around $1,000 (in New York around $500) on their last purchase. What’s more, they would be willing to do so again in the next six months, planning to spend over 66% more than New York residents for the same type of purchase, according to the market research held by ContactLab. In Shanghai, 25% of those intending to make a purchase in the next year said their next bag acquisition will be a gift, spending in total (for themselves or for someone else) as much as $1,700.

“Our new study on digital users and luxury brands was created to supply analysts and the market with valuable information that enable a deep understanding of consumer behaviour in order to define an integrated strategy for retail and e-commerce channels, both in terms of sales, promotion and communications,” explains Massimo Fubini, founder and CEO of ContactLab. “We chose to analyse in detail two particularly important areas such as New York and Shanghai to understand the most significant trends in the luxury goods market”. The report will be available for purchase in the next few weeks.

The study, conducted with individuals that have regular access to the internet, contributes to the understanding of consumer choices in using offline and online channels for purchases, and aims to help companies develop sales and communications strategies better adapted to steering consumer behaviour according to the relevant market.

There are strong similarities between Shanghai and New York: before making a purchase, in both cases we found the brand’s official website (not necessarily the e-commerce site) amongst the preferred information sources. Equally as important are magazines as well as recommendations from friends and acquaintances, which are especially decisive for Chinese consumers. One out of three users in New York (35%) as well as in Shanghai (31%) chooses to be kept informed through email communications sent by brands. To this end, it is also interesting to highlight that around half of those that went to boutiques to buy a luxury good had received and opened a digital direct marketing message sent by the brand: the influence of email channels on purchases, and not only those made online, proves to be crucial, the study reveals.

Speaking of e-commerce channels, what drives consumers to buy online rather than in a shop? The common denominator in both clusters is the range of quality and the variety on offer, ContactLab reports. Pricing in Shanghai is the second most important driver, whereas in New York it’s about saving time.

In New York the appeal of the online channel is mainly based on the availability of exclusive products, having greater discretion and privacy when buying, and being better informed about the product’s features and the variety on offer. The Chinese market considers this last point, along with the more general pleasure of the buying experience, to be still the prerogative of brick and mortar stores.

Two different consumption profiles emerge: fashion buying in China is closely linked to the display of one’s own spending capacity, while the New York consumers show greater affection for brands, according to the ContactLab study.

The Chinese market, seen from Shanghai, confirms its standing as a market offering enormous opportunities to companies that produce high-end products. Identifying a strategic approach that considers the characteristics of each country remains fundamental for brands to understand their consumers, both in terms of the motivation behind the shopping experience, as well as the choices on offer, whether exclusive or overlapping, between the e-commerce channel or brick and mortar stores to finalise sales.


About ContactLab

ContactLab is a market leader in digital direct marketing products and services. Over the years, ContactLab has expanded its offering by including added-value services to its leading technological platform for outbound messaging enabling the uptake of digital marketing as a strategic tool for business growth. Today, the company is a strategic partner managing a customer engagement model for top brands on a global scale.

Published on: 3:14PM on 3rd February 2014