Articles and Research|July 6, 2017

Luxury Websites: What You Really Need to Know About Your Visitors

Luxury brands are now officially players in the user experience era. The challenge of combining century-old reputations and insatiable appetites of new and demanding digital customers has become a core issue for these industries, where digital teams are trying hard to understand how customers browsing habits have changed. This research will help you understand these changes in order to provide an optimized user experience.  

Users are very specific when it comes to surfing on luxury websites, and while they don’t offer feedback verbally, we can learn what they are feeling by analyzing their browsing behaviour; some users enjoy luxury websites while others tend to feel lost in them. As luxury brands incorporate more e-commerce elements, marketers must examine customer expectations in order to make sure they deliver the desired experience.

Are customers more demanding when browsing luxury websites?

A few months ago we released a report on 16 typical e-commerce customer profiles to understand the different types of browser personas and how to meet their needs. However, when compared to specific behaviours on luxury sites, some interesting differences stood out.

The Frustrated Visitorthe frustated_1

One browser persona identified as “The Frustrated Visitor”, who represents 6% of traditional e-commerce traffic and is usually frustrated due to lack of clarity or overload of information, appeared to be much less annoyed on luxury websites, representing just 3.7% of their overall traffic. The reason behind this is that this frustrated visitor usually clicks 3 times more than the average visitor and will spend less time on the traditional e-commerce site. However, on luxury sites, the clean design and minimal features, not to mention the lack of overbearing texts, soothe the frustration and this user persona feels more comfortable and at-ease while browsing.


Some users completely change their browsing habits on luxury websites

The Lost User

Another browser persona we identified is “The Lost User”. On traditional e-commerce websites, this user usually lands on sites and pages by accident and only views one page because the content does not meet the expectations. Actually, the lost user only spends an average of 20 seconds on pages.

When browsing on luxury websites, these users tend to feel quite lost. They represent 25.6% of visitors on luxury sites, that stands in sharp contrast to 12% on traditional e-commerce websites. Clean design, along with non-traditional structures chosen by these luxury brands can be the reason behind the increase of lost users since they need a real and clear  reason to dive into the website. A pleasant and well-organized homepage could help pique their interest and help them find their way.

The Loyal User



The loyal user is characterized by being a regular user who returns frequently to a website. In other words, this browsing persona loves the brand and returns to the website around 5 times every month. However, there is something about luxury websites that the loyal user does not like. The proportion of loyal users on luxury sites is only 0.5%, compared to 15% on traditional e-commerce websites.

Even the strongest reputations cannot protect luxury brands from the new and unforgiving expectations of their digital users. Fine-tuning the balance between offering an optimized user experience, while maintaining the luxury image they want to promote online can be challenging but their success depends on it. Many brands cling on to their old-fashioned “luxurious standards” but while some users do appreciate a minimalistic website, others can feel completely lost without a well-thought experience path to guide them.

 The luxury websites who manage to incorporate optimized usability as part of their creative language are the ones who will see more loyal and engaged visitors and will pioneer the user experience revolution of their field.


A special thanks to Pola Zen who contributed to writing this article.

Colette Alcaraz

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