The survey found, for example, that more than half of male luxury buyers had read online reviews before purchasing luxury products, compared with just 39.2% of females. The two genders shared the same likelihood of using social media websites prior to purchase—just under 13%, making these sites significantly less important for luxury brands than their own websites and brick-and-mortar outlets.
Most luxury buyers, both men and women, believe the social media marketing efforts of luxury brands are improving, however. Reflecting their desire to read online reviews, men cited the inclusion of detailed product or service information as the biggest improvement to luxury brands’ social media marketing. At the same time, women cared less than men about this information and overall website design and content, but placed a greater emphasis on the availability of more coupons and exclusive offers.
But the greatest improvement made to luxury marketing on social sites, according to women, was the ability to make direct purchases, suggesting they are looking for those coupons and promotions because they are ready to buy.
Company websites and retail locations are much more important touchpoints for luxury brand consumers than social media sources, according to November 2011 research from customer experience management firm Empathica. And the way luxury buyers interact with these touchpoints sometimes varies by gender.