When it comes to shopping, the internet revolution has staked its claim on the everyday items we buy. We’re talking about things such non-perishable foods, books, school supplies, cleaning items, gifts, moderately priced clothing, etc. To over-simplify it, it’s the things you might stop into the local convenience store to purchase.
Even clothing took a while for people to get used to the experience of ordering, trying on and returning items. But once retailers figured out that process, and consumers became comfortable with it, that category took off as well — which is a bit of insight into why United Parcel Service (UPS) has been on the Tematica Investing Select List for some time now.
Of course, there are also those hard-to-find items that are the internet gold of eCommerce. But when it comes to those big-ticket items such as jewelry, high-end fashion, handbags, electronics and more, shoppers have tended to still want the in-person shopping experience for the luxury items. The tipping point for online luxury retail, however, is near as this article from eMarketer points out:
In the “2018 State of the Luxury Industry” report by the Luxury Institute, affluent shoppers conducted 38% of their luxury buys digitally. A majority (52%) still preferred buying luxury goods in-store, a drop of 2 percentage points from 2017, while 21% preferred online, a gain of 2 percentage points. Twenty-seven percent did not have a preference. The study surveyed affluent consumers in the US, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, China and Mexico.
The experience of touching and feeling the quality of a luxury item is unmatched still; however what’s to stop that experience from happening in your own home?
One only has to think back to just after the financial crisis of 2008 when a highly negative public perception of high-end spending emerged. While the wealthy had less money than maybe they did before the crisis, they still had money to spend. At that time, reports emerged of high-end jewelers and fashion retailers from Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills and Worth Avenue in Palm Beach receiving phone calls from regular customers asking for proprietors to bring items to their homes to see, rather than be seen shopping at these stores in public.