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After making a luxury purchase, most Americans (70.8%) "verbally tell someone" about their latest acquisition, while fully three in ten (30.3%) head to social media sites to share the news, according to a survey from Empathica.

Among luxury consumers who share information about what they buy, Facebook is the top social media destination (18.2%), followed by Twitter (5.0%), various other social sites (4.9%), and blogs (2.2%).

Canadians are less likely to use social channels to discuss their luxury purchases. Even so, 21.9% do, with Facebook topping the list (14.7%), followed by Twitter (3.6%), other social sites (3.2%), and blogs (0.4%).

Overall, however, when buying luxury goods, Canadians are less likely than Americans to prefer online shopping (19.6% vs. 48.1%):

Below, other findings from Empathica's Consumer Insights Panel survey among buyers of luxury goods.

People tend to brag about finding deals: Luxury consumers in the US and Canada are more likely to brag about the deals they find than paying high prices (30.4% vs. 3.5%); but most (44.7%) luxury consumers prefer not to talk to others about how much they pay for items. 

Consumers' Research Habits for Luxury Goods

Before committing to make a luxury retail purchase, most Americans (77.1%) and Canadians (66.4%) say they spend considerable time researching products.

Americans and Canadians use multiple channels to gather shopping information, including the following:  

  • A company website: 72.0% of Americans; 58.0% of Canadians
  • A retail location: 64.9% of Americans; 70.6% of Canadians
  • Online reviews: 47.3% of Americans; 40.2% of Canadians 
  • Social media sites: 12.8% of Americans; 11.7% of Canadians  

Asked to consider how they made their most expensive purchase over the previous six months, consumers (in US and Canada combined) cited general online research (71.0%), visits to a brick-and-mortar store (57.3%), online reviews (47.8%), and speaking directly with sales associates (43.6%). 

Fewer consumers checked out social media sites such as Facebook (4.4%).

Most (31.9%) consumers justify their luxury purchases as a personal reward and 17.5% say they have simply been delaying the purchase for awhile.

Fewer consumers are motivated to buy luxury goods because of ads they've seen, either via traditional media (4.8%) or social media (2.6%).

About the data: Findings based on a survey via the Empathica Consumer Insights Panel among more than 5,000 North Americans, Wave 2011, Issue 3, conducted during late 2011 and early 2012.

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