One in six women in the UK have purchased fashion online according to the latest research. Of these shoppers 18 per cent regularly shop the net and make at least one purchase per month online, as was revealed by Allegra Strategies through its How Women Shop!(tm) research series. Fashion e-tailing is fast proving to be a successful extension of the high street, bringing new customers, brand awareness and of course profit – particularly in light of the tough trading conditions on the high street this month.
Websites such as Asos.com, net-a-porter.com, topshop.co.uk, next.co.uk and ebay.co.uk all posted profits this year, with the latter setting up a new UK online store called e Bay Express. EBay Express is the new Shopping site from eBay- where the consumer can buy brand new items instantly and get great service from professional sellers. It has all the choice of eBay combined with a new way of finding the items and most importantly an easy checkout function.
The goal of online shopping is to come away satisfied with what you want. The ease is that you can travel from one store to another with the click of a mouse button. The research from Allegra Strategies further showed that prices seem less of an issue online, whereby bargain shopping for clothes and accessories is less important than having a great range of products to chose from and availability in sizes. Niche products such as ethical clothing, maternity fashion and accessories are also popular amongst online consumers.
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Familiarity with the retailer and brand awareness play an essential role in a woman’s willingness to make purchases on particular websites. Confidence in the reliability of retailer’s quality and fit are important factors driving loyalty online as women get the reassurance that they can make purchases without necessarily needing to try.
High Street retailer Next is leading in online fashion, attracting a third of all internet respondents. It achieves high conversion rates with 79% of browsers also purchasing via its website. Next has been successful in establishing itself as a truly multi-channel retailer, achieving high brand awareness across all of its store, catalogue and online channels. Indeed, in many ways it is a role model for the sector. The How Women Shop!(tm) research highlights that in the majority of cases, browsing websites has a positive impact on shopping behaviour – 69% buy online and 49% of are encouraged to go shopping.