Value Fashion Brands Failing to Connect with Shoppers Online

Multichannel value fashion brands are losing out on online sales due to poorly designed websites, according to the 2010 UK Fashion Retail Report from GSI Commerce International.

The survey reveals that, while 6 in 10 consumers would visit a fashion brand’s website if the product was out of stock in store, value fashion retailers are leaking sales due to a lack of extra web functions essential in converting visits into sales.

Multichannel fashion retailers have to pull out all the stops to satisfy the very specific demands of customers. Over two thirds (69%) of apparel customers cite an inability to physically touch items as the main deterrent for purchasing online.

40% of customers would currently avoid purchase if they saw no lifestyle images of products on the website, and nearly half (48%) would not make a sale if there was only one product image available.

Figure 1: Web features that would make consumers likely/very likely to purchase clothing/accessories online

Web optimisation the way forward for value fashion retailers

The report reveals that customers of value multichannel fashion retailers are not swayed by low prices alone when buying online. Over half of consumers claim that features such as image zoom (58%) and 360 rotation of products (51%) will increase the likelihood of online purchase.

89% of pensive value shoppers also claimed a poor multichannel returns process was the main deterrent from shopping on a fashion brand’s website.
“It’s clear that the lower the price of your products, the more you have to do to garner that all important product quality trust with customers,” says Steve Davis, EVP and President International of GSI Commerce. The results of the report show that value retailers have to make the most of web functionality to turn a browse into a sale, so ensure that you’re not simply displaying one product image on the website.

“Give consumers the luxury of ‘build the look’ applications on the website, which allows them to speculatively match different items of clothing by colour and material, amongst other factors. Providing a search filter that allows categorisation by size, colour and availability has also proved extremely popular, and gives your website that extra added convenience that store level can’t provide as well. It’s really quite simple: take the pain out of shopping online, by bringing the store experience as far as possible to your web users.”

Research Methodology: This survey has been conducted using an online interview of 1,092 adults. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Great Britain adults.

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