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Cotton Council research reveals rise in online shopping

Nine out of 10 UK consumers now shop for clothes online, according to new research from Cotton Council International, published today.

The Global Lifestyle Monitor Survey carried out by the Cotton Council, which investigates a wide range of lifestyle issues related to clothing, shopping and textiles among UK residents, found that 44% of people in the UK go online at least once a month or more to buy clothes, with 3% doing it on a daily basis.

The amount of people in the UK who buy most of their clothes online now stands at 13%, up from just 3% two years ago, as consumers move away from bricks and mortar chain and specialty stores, down from 43% two years ago to 31.5% today.

In addition, around 42% of consumers now use the internet to compare products and prices across stores while a third (33%) go online to browse the latest styles.

“Our research reveals that there has been a marked uplift for people going online to research and buy clothing, but not at the expense of quality,” said Stephanie Thiers-Ratcliffe, international marketing manager for Cotton Council International.

“This trend has seen retailers across the board take more of an interest in their online clothing offering – ensuring the customer experience, delivered both on and offline is second to none.”

This year’s survey also shows that when shopping, people from the UK are choosing natural fibres, with over a third feeling that better quality clothing comes from natural fibres. 

Cotton was also found to be the fabric of choice for most consumers with over a half of those surveyed saying it was their preferred fibre for the clothes they like to wear the most.

According to the research, only 10% of shoppers spent more than £500 on clothes last year, mirroring the economic downturn, with the average amount spent being only £230.

Over half of those surveyed said they fear they have less money to spend on clothing compared to last year, making spotting a bargain more important than ever. Around 40% admit they buy clothes with at least a 20% discount all or most of the time. 

Nonetheless, a prevailing trait for British shoppers remains the desire for quality – with almost 60% preferring to spend more on better quality items, with 61% of consumers viewing good quality clothes as those that are durable and long-lasting.

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