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Good service is key to premium online sales: study

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Almost two-thirds of consumers who buy premium products and services say they will continue to spend just as much online in 2012 as last year – despite the recession, new research suggests.

A thousand respondents with an average household income of just £23,000 a year took part in the study by online retail marketing agency Leapfrogg. Some 61% of them said they would not reduce their online spending in 2012, and 30% said they would buy still more. They cited good service and increased confidence in shopping online as factors.

More than a third said they used the web to compare and check prices, while 20% said they searched online in order to research products. But only 14% search for offers and vouchers online.

Almost four in 10 (39%) said lower prices would encourage them to buy premium brands, but one in five (21%) said quality of product and great service would be enough to encourage them to spend on luxuries.

Leapfrogg managing director Rosie Freshwater said: “Premium and high-end brands shouldn’t be tempted to undersell themselves by overusing voucher codes and heavy discounting. Consumers are willing to commit to higher prices as long as the shopping experience and customer service is as premium as their purchase.”

She added: “Premium retailers need to make the whole consumer journey easy, from start to finish, not overlooking the importance of offline interactions such as delivery options and, of course post-purchase customer care.”

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