The Future's Online
Posted by: FSPRetail , 26 April 2011
Recent reports have stated that the online clothing market has doubled over the last five years.
An increasing number of shoppers have access to the internet , choose to shop from the comfort of their sofa, and have abandoned the high street.
Statistics show that over a third of consumers have bought some of their clothes over the internet in the last year, and as discussed in a previous post from FSP on the topic of online sales, retailers such as ASOS are further proof of the growth in online retailing.
Once dismissed as something that would never take off, internet shopping is often a preferred alternative to trailing the high street, especially now we’re moving into mobile shopping.
Last year £4.3 billion worth of clothes were bought over the internet, a growth of 152 per cent in the last five years, according to the report by Mintel. Online clothing sales have been helped by the development of sophisticated websites where you can easily see the quality of an item, backed up by easy return if items are not as expected.
Major national retailers, such as Zara, H&M, Gap and Topshop all have transactional websites. For such a retailer not to have a website is almost unheard of, and lack of such a marketing facility is extremely short-sighted – even if customers only want to find out if you trade in a town they may be visiting.
The number of households with broadband internet connections has also increased making home internet access the norm. When internet shopping was first developed many shied away as consumers wanted to see the quality of garments and try things on before buying. This hurdle has been overcome with high quality websites where clothes and items can be viewed easily. Many shoppers now prefer to buy clothes online and try them on in the privacy of their own home.
With most retailers offering a very fast and efficient delivery service, including to an alternative address, some retailers are even in danger of persuading their most loyal store customers to stay at home. This is where the truly savvy salesman comes in, offering some intrinsic benefit to click-and-collect, with the shopper still visiting the store and spending even more.
The substantial growth of online clothes shopping, means that although the proportion of the overall market is currently relatively small, this will undoubtedly rapidly change. Interesting times.
Tags: E-TAILING, FUTURE OF RETAILING