Online Retail Spurs Consumer Support for ‘Try-On’ Fees

Research reveals Australian consumers are sympathetic to ailing retailers and willing to pay ‘try-on’ fitting fees, but expect significant discounts in return.

According to a consumer survey by Canstar Blue and Colmar Brunton, Australian consumers are sympathetic to local bricks and mortar retailers who are feeling the effects of the online retail surge and would be willing to pay a ‘try on’ fitting fee.

“The idea of a refundable ‘try on’ or fitting retail fee has attracted widespread debate in Australia since it came to public attention earlier this year. Our survey showed a surprisingly high 25% of respondents support the concept as a way to deter consumers from trying on items and buying them later online for a cheaper price,” said Canstar Blue Manager Rebecca Logan.

“At the moment ‘try-on’ charges are mostly confined to specialist retailers who supply items such as wedding dresses, ski suits, cameras and wedding dresses. However, industry experts have predicted the trend will spread to other specialist retailers and if this is the case it seems it may be more broadly accepted by the public than previously thought,” she said.

The survey also revealed that geographically NSW residents were the most supportive of a ‘try-on’ fee and that males (31%) were more likely than females (20%) to support the charge.

This sympathetic view however comes with some expectations in terms of pricing, with 78% of respondents anticipating more discounts to be offered by bricks and mortar retailers as a result of the online retail boom.


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