Delivery charges and difficulties with sizing and fit are the biggest turn-offs for online fashion shoppers, according to consumer research carried out exclusively for Drapers.
The research, by OnePoll, builds a picture of consumers who are shopping online as part of their wider shopping mix, with most of the 2,000 respondents buying online once a month (24.1%) or once every three months (22.6%).
However, it also showed that 19.6% of consumers are not shopping online at all. Delivery remains the key driver for the majority of shoppers, as 70% of respondents said they would buy online more if delivery was free while 63.7% said they would be encouraged by free returns.
A lack of free delivery was cited by 41.9% as the reason they abandoned a basket at checkout – by far the most cited reason – and 27.4% said they were put off by sizing and fit inconsistences.
Click-and-collect, next-day delivery, two-hour windows, and evening and weekend deliveries would also motivate shoppers, but just 9.6% of respondents saw 90-minute delivery as an incentive.
According to retail analyst Nick Bubb, offering a variety of delivery options, later cut-off times and easy returns have been key to growth at Next Directory and Aurora Fashions, owner of Warehouse, Coast and Oasis.
Consumers are also driven by convenience, with half citing it as their reason for shopping online, while 48.5% find it easier to browse on a website than in store. Bargain hunters represented 47.9% of respondents, while 35.7% said greater choice was their main reason.
Research plays a key role for some consumers, as 24.6% said they like to research online before buying. However, almost half (42.7%) start their research on their favourite retailer’s site and 28.7% use search engines.
David Brooks, deputy special projects editor at Drapers, said: “Fashion, more than most other categories, has enjoyed both the online boom and experienced growing pains from leveraging online opportunities.
“Drapers’ research shows that despite more shoppers moving online, there are still barriers stopping consumers from buying more fashion there.”