October 14, 2008, 12:00 AM

Credit crunch has little impact on luxury shoppers` spending, UK study says

Only 1.5% of those who shop for luxury goods say they plan to cut back on online shopping, versus 4.6% of all web shoppers, according to the survey by affiliate marketing specialist LinkShare and research firm JupiterResearch.

The rich, or at least those who buy luxury goods, are different from the rest of us: they plan on cutting back less on online spending than online consumers as a whole, according to a survey of UK consumers by affiliate marketing specialist LinkShare Corp. and research firm JupiterResearch, part of Forrester Research Inc.

Only 1.5% of those who shop for luxury goods say they plan to cut back on online shopping, versus 4.6% among all web shoppers, the survey finds. While most luxury shoppers were aware of the financial crisis, nearly a third said it didn’t worry them. The survey of 1,000 online consumers was conducted in August.

31% of luxury shoppers plan to buy more online than offline, compared with 15% of all online consumers. 95% of the shoppers for high-end goods say they shop more than one web site to compare prices and gain information. 66% use retailer sites as a research tool, followed by auction sites 64%, search engines 59% and customer review sites 55%. Fewer than half say they go into stores to research products.

In addition, 45% of online luxury shoppers say they often make unplanned purchases in response to offers, more than double the rate of typical online shoppers.

"Despite the uncertain economic climate our report shows that there are some shoppers whose spending will change but not diminish,” says Liane Dietrich, UK managing director at LinkShare. “Rather than visiting their favorite boutiques the online luxury shopper will become increasingly savvy in looking online for the best deals and will be influencing their friends to do the same. Even if they aren`t worried about the credit crunch, they are keen to make sure they`re not throwing money away unnecessarily and will spend more time on research into the products they want to buy."


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