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

Graham Charlton

Published 5 September, 2011 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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Comments (12)

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Very interesting article. Its good to see statistics which confirm the importance of online with offline shopping.

There is nothing like trying on an item before you commit to exchanging cash. Its unlikely that online shopping will take over offline any time soon, but it is becoming useful for finding out when new ranges are out, and therefore whether you will have a reason to drag your partner away from him games console.

It's hard to gain a relationship with online shoppers as the majority (having been into the stores for years) have their perception of the brand and are happy enough with it to be visiting the site. Gaining a deeper relationship with the store isn't necessary and therefore social media seems to be a mere offering of discounts and sales.

The only times I can think of where a buyer relationship requires more trust and therefore reviews and excellent communication is where e-Bay is concerned. Even though the seller may be trusted, I still find a need to read the reviews to see whether they are a build up of penny buys and sales. This is because I still see one man in his front room with a few boxes of old stock. Large retail shops who go online are privileged. They don't have to work for these brownie points, their brick and mortar shops have given their brand the trust that's needed.

almost 7 years ago

John Courtney

John Courtney, CEO and Executive Chairman at Pay on Results SEO, Content Marketing, Social Media, Digital PR, PPC & CRO from Strategy Digital

And some retailers still think that a website is not essential!

almost 7 years ago


Angelina Foster

Discount vouchers are the main reason why I shop online. It's happened a few times before when I've gone out shopping, bought something, then there's an online offer - which makes me slightly annoyed!

Other than that, it's so much easier to shop online - you don't have to fight for car parking spaces, push through crowds and you can also see what's in stock without going to the shop and coming back home with empty hands.

almost 7 years ago



Interesting article
I think your right, many thinks is more normal to buy online than offline now.
Thanks for this post

Regards from Denmark

almost 7 years ago




Have you got the list of questions you asked handy? Just it will help me so much with what I am doing!

Hope to hear from you soon!!

Kind Regards


over 6 years ago



Graham, nearly a year ago you brought this to our attention. Tell me do you have any new insight this year to report on?

P.S The original report seems to have moved and is now here:

Hope this helps!

almost 6 years ago



Helpful information.I am always looking for new sites for my husband to go shopping on. We found some great mens clothes here.

over 5 years ago


sexy corsets

Hi! very interesting post. Lots of valuable updates and info shared through this post.Also thanks for sharing the statistics too. Cheers!

over 5 years ago

martin whysall

martin whysall, Entrepreneur at Yuvastyle

At online shopping sites we get the clothes available from all over the world. We can wear all kinds of fashion as Online sites makes us all such clothes available easily.

almost 5 years ago


Vikash Singh, Manager at Unite Fashion

Online cloths Shopping is really a great experience. I shop Bridal Saree & Lehenga Choli at India's best online clothing online store and got free shipping in New York and 15% additional discount on my total bill. So you can also shop.

over 2 years ago


agapito hampaslupa, marketing at owndlooks

Very informative, there are few good things about Online Cloths Shopping that i can recommend from this website:

over 1 year ago


beautybathand beyond, Employee at Beauty Bath & Beyond

In today's busy era everyone prefer online shopping. Its has many benefits like time saving, quick and easy. We are able to find many products under one shopping website. Try to buy branded clothes online from website that is fully of trendy wear-outs. In this way, you have more choosing options to select from.

about 1 year ago

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