According to the latest Affluent Insights™ into Asia, around 2 out of 5 Asian millennials buy luxury products on their mobile phones. Agility’s study delves into the luxury spending and consumption behaviour of these young and affluent consumers. 

Millennials, those born between the 80’s and mid-90’s, have been responsible for the huge growth of Asia’s affluent population. This group, which we have been monitoring for years is fleeting when it comes to brands and expects immediate gratification. Millennials are a rising generation of young, but big spenders, and have been shaping how luxury retail brands are currently marketing their products to consumers. For affluent millennials, it’s now all about ‘the experience’.  Being able to afford luxury is a reflection of their quality of life, along with the indulgences and identification that goes with it.

In our latest Affluent Insights™ study in Asia, we zoomed in on the millennial consumer to unlock luxury spending and consumption behaviour within this segment.

Source: 2016-2017 Affluent Insights™ Luxury Study

Do you provide opportunities to take a memorable post-purchase picture?

While we already know that social media plays a key role in the customers’ purchase journey, not much has been researched on social media’s importance post purchase.

Based on our research, many affluent Asian millennials take photos of the luxury goods they purchase and then post them on social media. This serves as an indirect touchpoint of influence for luxury brands to pay attention to, especially considering that a lot of these millennials have bought a luxury item recommended by a social media influencer.

Chinese and Thai millennials are the most likely out of all Asian millennials to do this, whereas Koreans are the least, which is interesting to see considering Korean millennials are very well connected digitally. Perhaps, this might be attributed to the fact that it is frowned upon for Koreans to display their wealth openly?

Source: 2017-2018 Affluent Insights™ Luxury Study


Is your digital platform optimized for mobile purchases?

Luxury goods are not exempt from being experienced via digital technology. Around 2 out of 5 Asian millennials buy luxury products on their mobile phones. Chinese and Thai affluent millennials are the most likely to purchase luxury products via mobile phones, with more than half of them already doing so.

This is an opportunity for luxury brands to capitalize on the user experience of their e-commerce platforms and partners. The focus of this year should be on how to create a luxurious digital experience that can rival the traditional in-store luxury shopping experience, so that brands get to offer the convenience of shopping on mobile phone and digital devices but also uphold an exclusive brand image.

Source: Affluent Insights™ Luxury Study

Chinese millennials, the biggest spenders on watches and jewellery

It may come as no surprise that Korean millennials spend the most in terms of share of wallet on fashion and accessories, considering how fashion is a crucial part of the Korean urban culture, and that Chinese millennials spend the most in terms of share of wallet on watches and jewellery.

Brands in the fashion and accessories sector should focus on increasing their appeal among Malaysian and Singaporean millennials who spend twice as much on watches and jewellery than they do on fashion. In these two markets, millennials have a more relaxed style and choose to wear athleisure. This might explain why they wouldn’t go the extra mile and wear a high-end designer dress during their weekend activities.

Source: 2017-2018 Affluent Insights™ Luxury Study


Chanel, the most aspired brand in 2018

Similar to the previous years, affluent Asian millennials still aspire to purchase Chanel, particularly for fashion and jewellery. Chanel is the most aspirational brand in 2018 for this younger generation, and has managed to establish itself as an energetic, modern, and youthful brand in Asia – not too different from its brand image in Europe.  However, Dior and Gucci are slowly rising in popularity with their millennial friendly creative, such as Dior’s engagement with Natalie Portman and Gucci’s use of only black models in one of their campaigns.

Other brands should watch these three if they want to have a greater focus on millennial Asian customers.

Shopping as the number one activity during travel

Affluent Asian millennials travel abroad for leisure an average of 3 times a year, and shopping is their number one activity during travel.

Millennials in some markets, however, travel more than the regional average: Hong Kongers, Singaporeans, and Thai millennials are avid international travelers. In fact, 2 out of 5 affluent millennials in Hong Kong and Singapore travel 3-4 times a year. This consumer segment travels in style and pays attention to the quality of experience. 3 in 4 Chinese, Malaysians and Thais prefer to book their trip on business or first class.

Shopping is a popular activity during travel, but there has also been an increasing popularity in cultural activities such as watching theater performances and going to the museum.

Source: Affluent Insights™ Luxury Study. Image: How many international trips (leisure) have you taken in the past 12 months for the following purposes? 


Amrita Banta

Managing Director , Agility Research & Strategy

Amrita Banta is managing director and co- founder of Agility Research & Strategy, ranked as one of the top 10 luxury research firms globally and the first luxury and premium insights and consultancy firm founded in Asia. To date, she has conducted more than 350 consulting engagements for some of the world’s biggest brands in the luxury, travel, and hospitality sectors.