luxury etailRecession? What recession? Online customers are searching for luxury brands, spending more on them and buying them faster than they were a year ago.

These finding come from an 18 month study of Range Online Media’s 424 luxury retail brand clients. The study looks at impressions, clicks, click through rate, CPC, cost, revenue, orders, conversion rates and average order value for the period ranging from November 2008 through April 2010.

luxury impressionsAffluent shoppers never stopped searching online for luxury products while the economy was tanking, but they’re now more interested in luxury brands than they were a year ago. The brand studied showed an increase of 20 million search impressions year over year.

Moreover, their purchase path is shortening, with 88 percent of purchases    completed within three clicks so far this calendar year, a 17% increase in short term conversions over 2009. This faster path could indicate shoppers are less interested in bargain hunting and comparison shopping. Affluent customers are also searching and buying more on specific fashion designer names.

And finally, they’re spending more. Eight percent more, to be precise, over last year – and average order size has increased $20.

While luxury brands have traditionally not been early adopters of technology, this seems to be changing, particularly with the advent of mobile apps. Tiffany’s, Chanel, Ralph Lauren and Gucci are just a few of the luxury brands that have branched out to the iPhones so eagerly embraced by their customer base.