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… but ‘overactive’ mobile shoppers skewing m-retail growth figures, concludes Fits.me study

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Although about 30% of apparel transactions are now made from mobile devices, just 15% of people used a mobile device for their last purchase, suggesting that mobile shoppers are simply a very active buying group. Just three of 1,027 respondents made their last purchase over a mobile phone network.

So finds a study by Fits.me, which seeks to expose some of the myths around the statistics of mobile retail in the clothing business.

For instance, the study finds that rather than 18 to 24 year olds, it’s 35 to 44 year olds that are the most likely to use a tablet, and 25 to 34 year olds are most likely to use a smartphone. Mobile device use for clothes shopping diminishes dramatically for shoppers older than 45.

The survey, says Fits.me, aims to give human context to those transactional data studies, published regularly, which clearly indicate significant growth in transactions and store visits involving mobile devices. The survey quizzed more that 1000 shoppers who describe themselves as at least occasional purchasers of clothing online. A comprehensive report, How Fits is Online Fashion, is available from today here.

Heikki Haldre, co-founder and chief executive of Fits.me, explains: “This survey gives the transactional statistics published in other reports some much-needed context about the shoppers that are driving those figures. For example: yes, 30% of apparel retail transactions now come from a mobile device and, yes, study after study emphasises the growth rate of mobile transactions and, yes, study after study describes growth in in-store purchases. But a massive majority of people – 85% – didn’t even use a mobile device for their last purchase and that number is even higher for older age-groups.

“While companies make most of their revenue from a minority of their customers, I’m sure retailers will want to look at the needs and expectations of all their customers to ensure the continued growth and success of their online channel,” he adds.

The study also finds that 92% of respondents said that their most recent online clothes purchase was made from the comfort of their own home. 5% said their most recent purchase was made from work.

just five respondents of the 1,027 respondents say their last purchase was made from ‘Other wifi – somewhere other than home, work, or in-store – suggesting coffee shops are not locations from which people do their online clothes shopping.

“Irrespective of device or shopping location, consumers clearly want the same experience online that they are used to in-store. Resolving these obstacles must be a priority for retailers, or they risk simply changing the device on which their shopper is disappointed,” says Haldre. “There are also a lot of people that still don’t buy online; resolving these obstacles may also tempt them to experience the pleasure and convenience of online clothes shopping.”

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