It’s no secret among China’s luxury consumers that the prices of luxury goods are much higher on the mainland than elsewhere, but they’re getting more cost-savvy—new data from Baidu shows that internet users consider price to be the most important concern when searching for luxury goods online.
An article on iFeng states that Baidu’s data center reports that the term “price” was by far the most common search term associated with luxury bags and watches in 2013. For all watch-related searches, the term was included 15.7 percent of the time, far exceeding the search for the term “brand,” which was only used 1.4 percent of the time, and “authenticity,” which was used 1.2 percent of the time.
The report also found that “price” was the most commonly used term combined with searches for luxury handbags, used in 14.2 percent of all searches. The next most important term, “authenticity,” was also only used 1.4 percent of the time, and “reputation” was only used on 0.9 percent of all searches.
Meanwhile, in another example of the declining importance of logos, searches for brand names associated with luxury bags declined by a stunning 26 percent, according to the data.
Internet searches are often used to find the original price of luxury goods before China’s notoriously high tariffs are imposed, says the report. Chinese luxury consumers are using price searches to measure whether or not items are worth buying.
The high prices have driven Chinese consumers to buy an estimated two-thirds of luxury goods outside the mainland. In addition, they use a variety of other purchase methods to avoid tariffs, such as daigou (buying online from someone who has purchased an item abroad) or having their traveling friends and family buy items for them.