Optimism on consumption is true, palpable (and necessary). This can be read in the data from the eighth edition of Altagamma Consumer Insight, where the reasoned analysis of the True-Luxury Global Consumer Insight study by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) was presented. “A significant appetite for high-end, with the fashion world reacting secondarily – comments Matteo Lunelli, president of Altagamma – to the effects of the pandemic and the challenge to be contemporary”.
This research mainly highlights two phenomena, which gained strength between the first and second pandemic waves. The first is the US-China polarisation in luxury consumption. The second is the virtualisation trend, where the role of online games is central in the dynamics of sales. By embracing gaming, brands – as Lunelli recalls – earned 178 billion dollars in 2020. “One in two luxury goods consumers bought during a gaming session – underlines Sarah Willersdorf, Managing Director & Partner at the Boston Consulting Group – and 86% then concluded the purchase in person”.
The virtual front
Why is it so important to work on the virtual front, between games and livestreams? Because people under 35 will represent 60% of luxury consumers in 2025. Habits change with generations, and we cannot be left behind. But according to Nicola Pianon, Managing Director & Senior Partner at BCG, it is necessary not to forget the over 40s, “who want and demand extreme care in the experience and personalisation of the luxury object, both in presence and online”.
The consumer pyramid
Looking instead at the pyramid of luxury consumers, BCG research shows that in the midst of the pandemic, the propensity to buy was exclusive to the 2 million people in the high end. These generated 60 billion euros in market value. Forced at home, without travel, the luxury item was somewhat seen as the perfect refuge from fear. Today, there is also a recovery for the low end, and this gives hope for a return to sales to pre-Covid levels by 2022.
Another central theme in the Altagamma Consumer Insight is that of luxury’s sustainability. Especially Millennials and Gen Z are ready to reward or punish the actions of brands in this area. At the same time, they are also the most sensitive to the second hand. These are new ways to enjoy a brand and luxury. 35% sold at least one second-hand product (with peaks of 44% for the younger group) and 25% bought it.