When you think of luxury department stores, many come to mind. We narrowed the list down to take a look at three seemingly similar retailers and found some surprising differences in the preferences and behaviors of their customers. While Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue sell many of the same brands and products in their stores, their shoppers don’t share a “one size fits all” customer profile.

Resonate has the largest proprietary understanding of US adult consumers. After looking at our data, we found a number of clear differences in what’s important to the customers of these three luxury retailers. But a couple of operational aspects also popped out:

  • While shoppers at all three stores value fast and responsive staff, Saks Fifth Avenue customers aren’t worried about whether or not they are also knowledgeable.
  • Easy return policies matter to customers of Bloomingdales and Neiman Marcus but not to those of Saks Fifth Avenue.

Now let’s take a closer look at what makes these luxury retail shoppers unique in terms of motivations, purchase drivers and product preferences. Also take a look at their media consumption to assess the best places to reach them.

Bloomingdales   Neiman Marcus  Saks Fifth Avenue

Personal Motivation (1)

Self-fulfillment is uniquely important to these shoppers They are more likely to do things that give them a sense of accomplishment Self-esteem is uniquely important to these shoppers

Media Consumption Habits (4)

The shoppers are most likely to watch late night shows such as The Daily Show, The Late Late Show with James Cordon and Jimmy Kimmel Live These shoppers are most likely to watch daytime talk shows such as The Talk, The Chew, Dr. Phil, The View and Maury These shoppers are most likely to watch newsmagazine programs such as 20/20, Dateline, Frontline and 48 Hours
Who knew Bloomies shoppers were such night owls! Best chance of reaching these shoppers is while they’re having their late morning coffee! Saks shoppers have longer attention spans than you might expect!
Instagram is their favorite social media platform Snapchat is their favorite social media platform Twitter is used the most used by this group of shoppers
Most likely group to read Glamour, Cooking Light, and Entertainment Weekly Most likely group to read Star, Vogue, Country Living and O, the Oprah Magazine Most likely group to read People, Southern Living, ESPN the Magazine and Cosmopolitan
Bloomies shoppers love to get advice from trusted sources on how to live their best lives Neiman shoppers are equal lovers of gossip and high class content Saks shoppers love to be informed about a variety of topics

Product Preferences (3)

These shoppers are the group most interested in finding unique products These shoppers place the highest priority on buying luxurious products These shoppers seek out products that they deem trustworthy
They buy products that they deem to be rewarding When shopping they seek out popular products Long lasting products are what these shoppers are looking for
Best looking products are prioritized by this group Innovative products catch the eye of these shoppers the most Dependable products are likely to attract these shoppers the most

Purchase Drivers (2)

Most likely group to shop online This group is 34% more likely to join a loyalty program Most of this group shop at retailers that have the best prices and sales
Also most likely to make impulse purchases while shopping Most likely to shop at stores that are enjoyable and clean And, most likely group to use coupons while shopping at a variety of retailers
Who knew Bloomies customers are most likely to fall prey to temptation when browsing Neiman shoppers are capable of becoming loyal customers if you give them the in-store experience they’re looking for! Just because they’re wealthy doesn’t mean they don’t love a good bargain when they find it!

Curious who these people are?  Here’s a quick demographic breakout:

So what can luxury retailers do? It’s time for them to come to terms with the fact that they don’t fully know their customers. The ever-changing market economy now demands it. Digging deeper into what makes these wealthy shoppers unique as people will help inform messaging and targeting that will better engage them in the future. If luxury department stores can adjust to the changing wants and needs of their clientele then they have a good chance of reversing the current sales trends.

Resonate is here to help you better understand, target, reach, engage and convert target consumer audiences by understanding the underlying motivations and values that drive their decisions to buy or support certain brands and retailers – in real time. We’re ready to help you understand the “Why” behind your customers so that you can better influence their purchasing behavior in the coming months.