Market Research: Women and Handbags – Mintel v Q Research


In January 2014, Mintel published an interesting market research report on the Fashion Accessories Market in the UK.

I happened to carry out my own market research focussing on the high-end/luxury handbag market (for reasons i’ll let slip later). It is unfortunate that I came across the Mintel report after I had released mine. Unfortunately, this meant I couldn’t use their questions specifically, so here are some comparisons and additions:

Their results:
> Handbag sales have risen by 10.5% in 2013 to £1.16 billion.
> 51% of women have bought at least one handbag in the last 12 months.
> Overall, Sales/Special offers are the main motivation to buy a new handbag (with half of women, under-25s and 35-54 year olds incentivised by a discount.

  • Under 25s are most likely to buy new accessories to accompany a new outfit from the same store.
  • Those aged 25-34 have become the main handbag buyers. This group are most likely to purchase a new item because of a special occasion, and they are less driven by price.
  • 45-54s are most driven to buy new handbags for a gift.
  • A new fashion trend is a key purchasing incentive for under-35s, who are the most likely to have bought handbags in the last 12 months.
  • Over 55s almost twice as likely as average to buy handbags on impulse.

What I found

underlined text = comparable to Mintel results

I conducted a survey on 400 women (368 completion) aged 18-74 living in or around London. The survey was sent out to Q Research London’s representative, targeted database.

Overall Results

% of those who have previously purchased a high-end handbag, and intention to buy a new one in the next 12 months

Image

DKNY was the most bought handbag brand, followed by Mulberry, Gucci, Burberry and Michael Kors.

> 26% would rather buy one quality item than several at lower quality
> 13% feel the brand of clothes, shoes or accessories they buy is very important
> 22% feel that price is not important if they really like something
> 24% always compare shops for prices
> 25% buy clothing and accessories they like, regardless of the current fashion
> 15% always buy at least one item that is in fashion each season
> 23% are more concerned about the appropriateness than fashionability
> 21% tend to buy on impulse

Handbags specifically
Amount most likely to spend on a high-end handbag:
Image

Most important factors when buying a high-end handbag:Image

Where respondents are most likely to buy handbags from:
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Breakdown:

18-24 year olds (46)

37% would rather buy one quality item than several at lower quality
20% feel the brand of clothes, shoes or accessories they buy is very important
37% usually buy mainly sale price or discount fashion items
26% often pay more to get better quality.
24% feel that price is not important if they really like something
39% tend to buy on impulse
35% always compare shops for prices
61% buy clothing and accessories they like, regardless of the current fashion
35% always buy at least one item that is in fashion each season
24% are more concerned about the appropriateness than fashionability

55% previously purchased a ‘high end’ handbag.

50% tend to buy their handbags from high street shops or department stores

Only including those who had previously purchased a ‘high end’ handbag, the most important factor when buying a handbag is quality (75%), followed by colour (54%), size (42%) and Material (38%). Brand, Designer, and Price, are less important.

Factors most important when buying a high-end handbag:
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35% are likely to spend £200 or less on a new high end handbag.
39% are likely to spend £200 – £400 on a new high end handbag.
26% are likely to spend £400 or more on a new high end handbag.

Amount most likely to spend on a high-end handbag:
Image

Of those who currently own a high end handbag, 33% would ‘definitely’ buy a new high end handbag in the next 12 months.

25-34 year olds: (117)

35% would rather buy one quality item than several at lower quality
18% feel the brand of clothes, shoes or accessories I buy is very important
29% usually buy mainly sale price or discount fashion items
20% often pay more to get better quality
21% feel that price is not important if they really like something
36% tend to buy on impulse
26% always compare shops for prices
55% buy clothing and accessories they like, regardless of the current fashion
26% always buy at least one item that is in fashion each season
16% are more concerned about the appropriateness than fashionability

59% previously purchased a ‘high end’ handbag.

52% tend to buy their handbags from luxury handbag designer stores

The most important factor when buying a handbag is quality (61%), followed by colour (45%) and Material (39%). Size, Brand, Price, and designer are less important.

Factors most important when buying a high-end handbag:
Image

25% are likely to spend £200 or less on a new high end handbag.
36% are likely to spend £200 – £400 on a new high end handbag.
55% are likely to spend £400 or more on a new high end handbag.

Amount most likely to spend on a high-end handbag:
Image

Of those who currently own a high end handbag, 29% would ‘definitely’ buy a new high end handbag in the next 12 months.

35-44 year olds: (90)

42% would rather buy one quality item than several at lower quality
15% feel the brand of clothes, shoes or accessories I buy is very important
18% usually buy mainly sale price or discount fashion items
21% often pay more to get better quality
24% feel that price is not important if they really like something
27% tend to buy on impulse
17% always compare shops for prices
59% buy clothing and accessories they like, regardless of the current fashion
20% always buy at least one item that is in fashion each season
18% are more concerned about the appropriateness than fashionability

53% previously purchased a ‘high end’ handbag.

47% tend to buy their handbags from high street shops or department stores

The most important factor when buying a handbag is quality (63%), followed by colour (60%) and size (48%). Material, Price, Brand, and designer are less important.

Factors most important when buying a high-end handbag:
Image

27% are likely to spend £200 or less on a new high end handbag.
46% are likely to spend £200 – £400 on a new high end handbag.
21% are likely to spend £400 or more on a new high end handbag.

Amount most likely to spend on a high-end handbag:Image

Of those who currently own a high end handbag, 40% would ‘definitely’ buy a new high end handbag in the next 12 months.

45-54 year olds: (67).

40% would rather buy one quality item than several at lower quality
16% feel the brand of clothes, shoes or accessories I buy is very important
27% usually buy mainly sale price or discount fashion items
25% often pay more to get better quality
17% feel that price is not important if they really like something
36% tend to buy on impulse
21% always compare shops for prices
51% buy clothing and accessories they like, regardless of the current fashion
15% always buy at least one item that is in fashion each season
23% are more concerned about the appropriateness than fashionability

69% previously purchased a ‘high end’ handbag

46% tend to buy their handbags from high street shops or department stores

The most important factor when buying a handbag is quality (48%), followed by colour (48%) and size (39%). Material, Price, Brand, and designer are less important.

Factors most important when buying a high-end handbag:
Image

28% are likely to spend £200 or less on a new high end handbag.
39% are likely to spend £200 – £400 on a new high end handbag.
30% are likely to spend £400 or more on a new high end handbag.

Amount most likely to spend on a high-end handbag:
Image

Of those who currently own a high end handbag, 28% would ‘definitely’ buy a new high end handbag in the next 12 months.

55-64 year olds: (40)

28% would rather buy one quality item than several at lower quality
15% feel the brand of clothes, shoes or accessories I buy is very important
33% usually buy mainly sale price or discount fashion items
25% often pay more to get better quality
23% feel that price is not important if they really like something
48% tend to buy on impulse
28% always compare shops for prices
43% buy clothing and accessories they like, regardless of the current fashion
15% always buy at least one item that is in fashion each season
35% are more concerned about the appropriateness than fashionability

51% previously purchased a ‘high end’ handbag.

52% tend to buy their handbags from high street shops or department stores

The most important factor when buying a handbag is colour (74%), followed by quality (70%) and size (61%) and material (52%). Price, Brand, and designer are less important.

Factors most important when buying a high-end handbag:
Image

48% are likely to spend £200 or less on a new high end handbag.
22% are likely to spend £200 – £400 on a new high end handbag.
17% are likely to spend £400 or more on a new high end handbag.

Amount most likely to spend on a high-end handbag:
Image

Of those who currently own a high end handbag, 17% would ‘definitely’ buy a new high end handbag in the next 12 months.

65-74 year olds: not enough data to draw any conclusions.

Conclusions

  • Although 25-34 year olds do consider the importance of price, shown by being motivated by sales and discounts, and comparing prices, they are less price-conscious and tend to spend more money than average on high-end handbags.
  • There is a general trend that quality is the most important factor when buying a high-end handbag, with price holding the least importance (especially for 18-34 year olds).
  • 18-34 year olds are also more conscious of fashion trends, being more likely than average to buy at least one item that is in fashion each season.
  • 25-34 year olds are also more likely to purchase high-end handbags from luxury handbag designer stores, against the trend of buying it from a high-street shop or department store.
  • Over 55s are over twice as likely than average to buy fashion items on impulse.
  • Over 55s tend to spend less money on high-end handbags, with the majority spending less than £200.
  • With age, appropriateness becomes increasingly more important than fashionability.
  • The importance of the brand of a fashion items decreases in importance with age.