Milieu Insight, Southeast Asia’s leading consumer research firm has released its latest study on luxury goods consumption in the region. The study found that 42% of Southeast Asian consumers will likely maintain their spending on luxury goods despite inflation in mind, and almost 2 in 10 consumers will likely spend more. The top reasons respondents would consider purchasing luxury goods are superior product quality (57%), product longevity (57%), and uniqueness of products (56%) such as the design or craftsmanship.
According to the study, the top five luxury consumption categories in the region are tech gadgets (67%), fashion (56%), beauty and wellness (51%), jewelry (45%), and bags/wallets (43%).
The study also revealed 8 in 10 respondents bought luxury goods for their personal use, while 2 in 10 made luxury purchases as gifts to others. In the Philippines, there were some entrepreneurial individuals, with 2 in 10 buying luxury goods with the intention to resell them.
Regionally, tech gadgets such as computers and mobile phones were the top luxury category that saw the most purchases in the past year, with Vietnam topping other countries at 54%, and Singapore shoppers (45%) spent the most on luxury bags and wallets.
When queried on the types of luxury goods that respondents would generally tend to purchase for themselves, 61% of respondents in Singapore picked bags and wallets. In both Singapore and Thailand, excellent craftsmanship was the first choice for many respondents when it came to picking their most important brand value, and jewelry purchases in both these markets were typically luxury goods that 4 in 10 respondents would generally tend to purchase for themselves.
Overall, across the region, the top category that consumers would spend on themselves was still tech gadgets, with 5 in 10 respondents likely choosing to spend money on computers and mobile phones while considering these gadgets as luxury items.
“This study provides valuable insights into the luxury consumption habits of Southeast Asian consumers,” said Sonia Elicia, Associate Marketing Director at Milieu Insight. “It is clear that a preference for innovation plays a crucial role in driving the sales of technology gadgets in the luxury market. Traditional luxury goods like fashion and jewelry remain popular as well with consumers showing an affinity for superior product quality and excellent craftsmanship. As consumers become more ethically conscious, they consider the quality of luxury, such as the durability and longevity of their purchased items which will likely help luxury retail expenditure stay recession-proof.”
Angela Loh, founder of Ultraluxe, Asia’s most prestigious festival that brings together the best of jewelry, watches, fashion, and living style shares her views, “Luxury goes beyond the price tag or the label. Consumers now have a deeper appreciation of the enduring quality of a product that stands the test of time. True luxury is not found in the mass-produced, but in the rare and exquisite finds that one must scour the world to discover. Our clients are interested in acquiring unique items that speak to their individuality and will be indispensable to their life and style.”
The Milieu Insight study highlights the changing perception of luxury goods among Southeast Asian consumers. It provides valuable insights into luxury retailers looking to expand their business in the region. About 1 in 4 consumers in Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines, are likely to increase their spending on luxury goods so brands have an opportunity to tap into this lucrative market.
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