SEPTEMBER 26, 2011

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Lifestyle/Luxury
Luxury Retail Sales Stay Strong
According to a recent report by the Luxury Institute, neither inclement weather nor wealth destruction deterred wealthy shoppers from stepping up the pace of their purchases at luxury retailers in August, as high-end merchants fared better than most. Despite Hurricane Irene, downgraded US debt, and a volatile stock market, monthly same-store sales at Nordstrom and Saks continued to outpace mainstream retailers. Sales at stores open at least one year were up 7.7% in Nordstrom’s full-price stores and up 6.1% at Saks Fifth Avenue. According to the Luxury Institute, the good news for luxury retail is that job losses and economic hardship in the overall population are far less likely to impact the ability or willingness of the wealthy to spend. Furthermore, a new Luxury Institute survey shows that spending plans of wealthy consumers and attitudes towards luxury brands point to continued strength for the sector in the months ahead.
So what? Fortunately for purveyors of luxury goods and services, recent history indicates that it is possible to thrive in an economy growing slowly or not at all.
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Technology
Study: Half Of U.S. Shoppers Will Shop Regularly On Mobile Devices Within Next 5 Years
The rapid adoption of smart phones and tablets is changing how consumers are engaging with brands and making purchases. With a million smartphones being sold every month in the U.S. today, a recent study by L.E.K. Consulting predicts that more than half of U.S. consumers will be using mobile devices regularly for shopping within the next five years. The study found that two-thirds of smartphone owners have used their devices to make purchases, and of those users, 40% actually made purchases on their handheld at least once per month. L.E.K. labels this segment of users as “Active Mobile Consumers.” Active Mobile Consumers are more likely to seek out deals than less active mobile users, are more likely to share their location and other personal information with brands in exchange for real-time offers, are more likely to be influenced by social media, and are more likely to shop at “flash” sites like Gilt Groupe and Rue La La.
So what? Given recent successes at Condé Nast with QR codes, this study confirms that there are enormous upsides to linking editorial content with commerce.
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The Next Major Breakthrough In Medical Technology: The iPad
Mobile devices are creating another revolution; this time it’s the medical industry. According to Nokia, revenue from M-Health is expected to grow 10 times in the next four years to a 6 trillion dollar global business. The devices can be used to remind patients to take their medicine, access drug information, design diet and work out regimens and much more. These changes will allow for consumers to have much more control over their health and choices around healthcare. It will also give both doctors and marketers new ways to interact and influence patients. A recent eMarketer paper compiled research from multiple sources and outlined the dramatic changes that are about to unfold.
So what? Condé Nast may not have expertise in the medical field but we are successful at designing engaging content. As content is always in demand, Condé Nast can partner with our health care advertisers to deliver customer-focused solutions.
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Retail/Shopping/Commerce
What Does The Retailer Of The Future Look Like?
A recent report by L2 attempts to draw the link between a retailer’s digital competency and their growth. The study draws some correlations between L2’s rating of retailers and the revenue growth of the retailer. The retailers that are ahead of the curve in digital competency are using tools like flash sales, crowd sourced customer service, geo-local communication, F-Commerce (fan monetization) and V-Commerce (shoppable videos).
So what? Although L2’s methodology is not a proven measure of success, the report points to some trends that Condé Nast should be watching. Condé Nast can develop new revenue streams through F-Commerce and V-Commerce and advertisers are looking increasingly to geo target.
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2011 Online Holiday Shopping: What Retailers Need to Know
A recent report by eMarketer states that ecommerce sales for the 2011 holiday shopping season are projected to grow by at least 12% or more. In order for retailers to get their share of this business, there are four marketing strategies retailers need to know and use: Retargeting, Mobile, Social and Local.
So what? Retailers who already have these marketing strategies in place stand to prosper during the upcoming holiday season. Consider that Condé Nast readers are more likely than average to shop for items online, use tablets or smartphones, look for product information online, visit social networking sites, look at an ad, respond to an ad, make a purchase or redeem a mobile coupon.
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Quick Takes
5 Stars For Condé Nast iPad Apps
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By The Numbers: Tablet Update
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CHART OF THE WEEK: Steve Jobs Leaves, Apple's Stock Soars
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Condé Nast
Feedback, questions, ideas for future issues? Please contact:

Phil Paparella
Condé Nast Research & Insights | Associate Director
1166 6th Avenue, 14th fl. | NY, NY 10036 | office 212.790.6044 | philip_paparella@condenast.com

Contributors:
Tamar Rimmon | Senior Manager, Digital Analytics
Robyn Hightower | Manager, Research & Insights