Almost half of consumers prefer shopping for fashion online than offline, while 64% consult a fashion retailer’s website before making a purchase. 

These stats from a GSI Commerce survey show how important the web has become for fashion shoppers, and how a multichannel approach to retail is vital for clothing brands.  

Researching online, shopping offline

More and more consumers are switching between channels when shopping for fashion, and using the website as a virtual shop window. 

64% have researched purchases online before buying offline, up 5% from last year’s survey. 

The stats also reveal that women are much more likely to research online and buy offline, with 71% of women doing this, compared to 52% of men. 

What do customers want from fashion websites? 

Since online cannot replicate everything about the instore fashion experience, brands need to provide features that aid decision making. 

The stats show the importance of effective filters on fashion sites that allow users to narrow their product selection, with 55% saying the ability to filter by size and colour makes them more likely to buy. 

The stats also reinforce the importance of images on product pages, with 50% favouring zoomable and rotating photos, while reviews are important for 46% of respondents. 

Multichannel shopping habits

The split between customers who prefer shopping online, and those that prefer offline is more or less even, with a slight preference (55%) for the high street. 

The stats also show the value of kiosks in stores so that consumers can browse the entire product range. 42% of respondents said they would like to see more of these. 

What do customers want from fashion retailers via social media? 

Several fashion retailers have been building their social media profiles and attracting large followings on Facebook and Twitter

One interesting stat from the survey is that 90% of consumers in this survey haven’t interacted with any fashion retailer’s Facebook, Twitter or mobile site. 

Of those that have had interactions via social media, 54% said that this has changed their perception of the brand. 

Predictably, most consumers are looking for the latest offers and competitions via social media (49% and 48% respectively), though 33% are looking for direct answers to questions or complaints