Earlier this week, Australia Post announced they were suspending pickups from ecommerce providers in the Sydney region after a record breaking August, with more of us online shopping during that month than during the Christmas period. So, we know Australians are shopping, but are they spending money on luxury? We sat down with Prue Thomas [Oroton], Alyce Tran [In The Roundhouse, LTK], Lauren Sams [AFR] and Emma Read [stylist] to get their thoughts.
Despite lockdowns around Australia and the world, I’ve genuinely been surprised how many full price handbags and beautiful apparel collections are going out the door for Oroton, especially when they’re not going to see the light of day for a little while. But I think we’re all probably looking for small reasons to keep smiling. According to the CMO at Net-a-Porter Australia is a big market for them in that luxury space. Plus, people are not spending on things like travel. We’re spending more time at home, so we’re all spending a lot of money on homewares. We’re looking for that little silver lining and if that means a luxury purchase to pep you up, then so be it! We’re continuing to see strong growth at Oroton within Australia, and we’ve been finding the right people on the ground internationally to help us test and research the market.
We also have a large domestic Chinese audience in Australia. That’s where we’re seeing a tremendous amount of value, and by targeting them with focussed tone of voice and content on social channels that are popular with those audiences like WeChat, Weibo, Redbook, we’re continuing to see growth.
We don’t have an “Australian consumer”. We don’t have a single persona that we’re speaking to. It’s multifaceted.
The appetite for luxury is absolutely still there. I think sometimes people are surprised by Australians and their appetite for luxury brands. Australians are really savvy about what they want, they understand provenance and origin story, materials, quality, all of those things are really, really important to Australians, much more so a brand name, a Cartier, or a Tiffany. It really is about the quality of the products. But there’s a lot of wealth in Australia – and not just rich listers and people who own mines! There is that, but there’s also a very wealthy middle-class, and they’re not necessarily white collar workers, they’re not professionals. They might be really wealthy plumbers, electricians. One of the best ways I’ve seen to reach them are things like accessible pop-ups. Cartier for instance, does a pop-up at our Westfield shopping centers with the goal of making the brand accessible for a customer who has the money to buy but that might not necessarily go into a Cartier boutique.
These small, but very beautiful pop-ups featured more entry-level items like a fragrance or sunglasses. The idea is to build those customers, get them into the store and get them spending $30,000 on a watch eventually. By understanding this about the Australian luxury market, it’s this great opportunity to reach more people.
Want more on how to reach an Australian audience with your international brand? Read the rest of the series here.