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How do customers choose which fashion brands to shop from online?

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Why do customers choose to shop online with different fashion brands? A study from usability specialists Yuseo found that use of good quality product images is the most important factor for customers buying fashion online.

Usability experts Yuseo found that 54% of 5,900 respondents to its customer experience benchmarking study, the Yuseo Observatory, cited quality imagery as important when it comes to choosing clothing. In second place was reliable delivery, chosen by 49%, followed by broad range (48%) and clear and detailed product information (45%).

The study asked shoppers to rate brands that they already shopped with, and included names including Boohoo, River Island, Topshop, Next, Very, Zara, John Lewis, Asos and H&M.

Boohoo, River Island and Topshop were all rated by 62% of their customers for the quality of their product images. Next was rated by 69% of its customers for delivery, while 61% of Very customers highlighted its delivery. At the other end of the scale, 35% of Zara clients rated its delivery service.

John Lewis was rated by 45% of its clients for quality customer service, compared to 20% voting for Topshop, Asos and H&M. Zara and H&M were recognised by 52% of their customers for their product information.

The study also produced insights into why customers chose to shop with retailers. Some 52% of John Lewis customers and 42% of Next customers singled out the brands for their trustworthiness and seriousness, while 41% of H&M and Boohoo’s clients cited their good value for money. This, said Yuseo, “could be strong grounds for growth in a tighter economical climate.”

Customers stay loyal to fashion brands, the study found, for their attractive prices and promotions (58%), their brand reputation (58%), and their confidence that they will find what they are looking for (57%). Other important factors include knowledge of the site (53%) and a trustworthy delivery service (53%).

Some 74% of John Lewis customers say they shop with it for the brand reputation, while 64% cited its customer service, an area where the average score was only 34%. Some 73% of Zara clients and 70% of Topshop clients cited the brand’s reputation for their loyalty, while 69% of Next customers cited its delivery service and 62% its exchange and return policies. Delivery was only important, however for 41% of both Zara and H&M’s clients.

Attractive prices and promotions are a draw for 86% of both Boohoo and H&M’s customers, as well as 73% of Asos’ customers. Very scores 68% in this area, while John Lewis and Next score just 35% and 37% respectively. Brand reputation is not a key reason why customers shop at Boohoo and Very, with only 32% and 29% citing this as a factor.

Our view: This research puts some figures on assumptions that we may make about different fashion brands to interesting effect. Thus the research demonstrates that customers choose John Lewis for the reputation of its brand and its customer service rather than for low prices, while delivery seems a major draw for customers of Next.

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