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75 percent of fashion purchases made at physical shops, but people spend more online

By Marjorie van Elven

Jun 8, 2018


”Omnichannel”, “webrooming” and “showrooming” may be the retail buzzwords of the day, but the truth is buying journeys are still overwhelmingly single-channel, according to a new research by consulting firm Oliver Wymann. Based on interviews with 1,500 shoppers across the United States, the study revealed that 83 percent of shopping journeys occur within a single channel.

Brick and mortar stores still take a bigger piece of the cake, with 75 percent of all fashion purchases being made in physical stores. However, consumers tend to spend 25 percent more when shopping online. When the buying journey starts at a brick and mortar store and ends at an online shop, this effect is even more pronounced, with final purchases 64 percent larger on average.

Two main factors explain this behavior, according to the study. First, online shops usually have a wider product range than brick and mortar stores. Secondly, many online retailers only offer free shipping once the shopper spends a certain amount of money, which encourages them to buy more.

The survey also revealed that spending is higher at brand stores and websites than at multi brand retailers. Brands earn an average of 86 percent more at their own shops and websites than elsewhere. Oliver Wymann’s report suggests that consumers attribute more value to a brand when buying at a specific store or site.

Shopping online is actually slower than at a brick and mortar store

While shopping online seems like a faster and more convenient process, consumers actually take more time to buy clothing and shoes online than at brick and mortar stores. According to the survey, 57 percent of fashion purchases made online begin with the consumer either first looking at another website, visiting a brick and mortar store or both. “This means that online shoppers are doing a lot of comparison, so online retailers should work harder to close sales quickly while they have the attention of the consumer. They can do this by actively sending cart recovery messages or creating loyalty programs for a particular site”, suggests the consultancy firm.

Another myth debunked by this survey is that consumers are always looking for something new. Most shoppers are actually happy to buy the same item, or similar items, again and again -- either because they like a particular style or because they want to replace an item they already have. Repeat purchases were the aim of 83 percent of shopping journeys analyzed by the study. This rings even more true when it comes to workout apparel, for which the percentage of repeat purchases was 87 percent.

Picture: Pixabay