Shopping Technology

PriceGrabber Survey: More consumers shopping for fashion online

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A new survey carried out by illustrates that the way we buy fashion has evolved.  The days when most of us visited a brick and mortar store to try on our clothes  and then purchase them are waning.   The survey reveals that  nearly half of all of respondents (47%), admit that they now buy the majority of their fashion online. Conducted from March 12 to April 22, 2013, the survey includes responses from almost 1,000 UK online shopping consumers.

I think the explosion of mobile shopping, deals on Foursquare and online clubs like Gilt Groupe or Ideeli also play a role. has seen the fashion category grow in volume over the past few years.  That’s not a surprise, as it is much easier to do price comparisions online using shopping & price aggregator sites like PriceGrabber.   Another benefit of online shopping is seeing customer reviews.  That may tell you about the quality of the merchandise, but you still need to try something on to see how it works for you.   Today’s shoppers just want to do the trying on at home rather than in store. “In recent months we have witnessed huge growth in our fashion category and it is now the most visited area of the site.  We are able to offer shoppers product and merchant reviews and the opportunity to purchase big name brands at the best prices available,” says Justin Sedgmond, Head of”  Some of our popular brands include North Face, Adidas, Barbour, Oakley and Ugg. We continue to expand and broaden our fashion category to offer our users the best deals around on the fashion items they want.”

When shoppers were asked whether the amount of fashion bought online had increased the past five years, those who said yes, explained the surge of activity as due to three main factors. Firstly, the increase in the number of online retailers and therefore choice (28%). The second reason specified in the survey was the ease of shopping from their computer and whilst out and about (24%). Lastly, the fact there is an increased level of online trust in the industry as a whole (17%).

Not only has the shift from the majority of fashion items being bought in store (53%) to online fashion purchasing (47%) almost equalized but the way we are buying online is also moving with the times. Up to 32 percent of respondents said they had bought fashion on a smartphone or tablet.

Marketing enticements to increase online fashion buying does seem to play a role in generating interest in online fashion purchases.  Almost half (49%) of respondents said they know what they are looking for when shopping for clothes online.  As many as 41 percent indicated they both like to be inspired by the emails they have signed up for with merchants to promote brands as well as knowing what they are looking for before they shop for a particular item.

Refreshingly the days of ordering a garment or fashion accessory online only to receive the delivery and be disappointed, are long gone. It seems that fashion buyers are savvier about what they buy. Nearly a third (26%) said they never return items, as they know their size and stick to what they know will fit. A further 64 percent return items rarely, and that is normally due to a particular style not working. Survey respondents said that lifestyle and ease of use when online shopping for fashion ranked at 36 percent.  Shoppers also responded that prices are more transparent, and value can be so easily compared without trawling around the shops (38%).   Bottom line: The convenience of shopping online seems to justify the growth in this category as it continues to appeal to the modern consumer.

Overall economic circumstances probably contribute to the fact that for those who enjoy their fashion fixes, knowing they are getting the desired item at the best price available is very important to 40 percent of those surveyed. Although, 32 percent said it isn’t as important to them as getting good deals on larger items such as white goods, furniture or even electronics. The remaining 28 percent, said price is not a determining factor and it doesn’t put them off buying a fashion item they really want.


Since 2008, Mary Hall has been the author of The Recessionista Blog, which is read by thousands of regular readers in over 160 countries. An internationally recognized expert on the art of the living the good life for less, she has been a commentator on local, national, and international radio and TV shows. Her advice has been featured in over 2,000 media outlets, including The New York Times, Reuters, Life & Style magazine, ABC News, NBC News and now The Huffington Post, among many others.