Online shopping might be on the rise but more than six in 10 consumers say they still like to try clothes on in-store before making a purchase, according to research from the Fashion Retail Academy.
Although recently retailers, such as M&S, have lost faith in their high street stores and have started moving online, over two thirds (70%) of consumers are still buying less than half of their clothes on the internet.
The Christmas retail figures released this month from a number of big brands such as Next and John Lewis show that online sales have supported struggling retailers over the festive period. However this does not show a complete switch to internet shopping and in fact the average shopper only buys 38% of their clothes online.
Perhaps surprisingly, it’s men that are hitting the high street hardest, with more than six in 10 (62%) saying they still like to try on clothes in-store – compared to 60% of women.
On average, women are buying 6% more of their clothes online – while three quarters (75%) of the male population are buying less than half of their clothes on the web.
Consumers who buy over 70% of their clothes online still like to try them on in-store, with more than half (54%) of them saying they like to go into the shops as well.
Lee Lucas, principal of the Fashion Retail Academy said, “Undoubtedly the last few years has seen the proportion of shopping done online increase exponentially, while this has created some interesting challenges for retailers that didn’t react to this trend quickly enough, this shift hasn’t killed off the high street.
“From a consumer perspective, this shift online isn’t a big surprise – shoppers are savvy enough to understand that the best deals are often reserved for those who shop around online.
“However, retailers have been adapting and remodelling based on consumers needs, looking at the latest trends, launching huge promotions across the board and creating an experiential shopping experience, with more and more retailers integrating services and 3rd parties into their retail space to draw people in.
“Companies such as Next are enjoying the benefits of blending online and physical sales environments, and see half of their online orders delivered to their stores – which is continuing to draw customers onto the high street.
“Big brands are also getting wise to the hype created around limited runs on certain lines of clothing, something which companies like Supreme have really mastered in recent years, and ‘legacy’ brands like Louis Vuitton have cleverly adopted.
“In the same way that books have enjoyed a resurgence against the Kindle in recent times thanks to the experience of leafing through a much loved paperback, the experiential aspect of heading to the shops will never be replaced wholesale by browsing online for new clothes.”
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