handcrafted luxury goods

The New Luxury: Consumers Seek Authentic Human Connections

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As the pandemic has forced luxury shoppers to postpone international travel, many have turned to online markets to find coveted luxury items with a global flair. In particular, many consumers in the luxury market have expressed an interest in handcrafted goods that offer a unique connection to artisans working in exotic, far-flung locales.

Our luxury market research indicates that half of luxury consumers have shopped online for handcrafted items in the past month and that 79% feel that online stores can provide a unique and fulfilling buying experience for artisanal goods.

But it’s not just about the purchase. Luxury consumers are curious about the back-story of their one-of-a-kind item, and what drives the creator. They express a strong desire to support the independent artisans who would typically benefit from purchases made overseas, with 71% saying they would be likely to visit a website that supports global artisans making handcrafted apparel, jewelry, home decor, and fine art. That sense of altruism suggests a new definition of luxury, as consumers come to value a deeper connection between the buyer and the artist.

One of the luxury consumers in our most recent survey said it best: “I love to find one-of-a-kind products. I also like to support artistic people.”

With travel limited during the pandemic, luxury consumers are turning to online luxury goods markets to find handmade treasures.

A number of websites are now catering to this luxury niche market. For example, Artemest describes itself as a group of connoisseurs who “travel throughout Italy to…explore the varied worlds of home décor, jewelry and fine art as they change in character from region to region and observe each artisan in his workshop as he describes his process and worldview.” Each item includes a photo of the artisan with a biography for the shopper to learn more about him or her.

This approach differs from sites like eBay and Etsy by providing a deeper connection between the creator and the buyer, which many luxury consumers say they desire. It also prioritizes the perceived value of that connection over the convenience of services like Amazon Prime. The new luxury consumer is willing to wait for an artisan to craft an item just for them, rather than settle for a mass-produced product that arrives in two days.

Looking to the future

The trend toward online purchasing of handcrafted luxury goods is just one of several interesting insights found in our most recent luxury market research. And as consumers continue to adapt to the pandemic, more surprising trends are certain to emerge.

Through our ongoing research, 360 Market Reach can help you stay ahead of new developments in the luxury market and put our insights to work to help your business thrive. If you’d like to learn more and see the full results of our latest research, contact us today.

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