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Online browsing ‘could save the high street’

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Online browsing could help save the high street, according to new research.

SalesGossip, an online and mobile service that offers its 500,000 members early access to fashion events and promotions, quizzed its users between June 1 2014 and July 1 2014. They found many went to stores after browsing online. While they find information over the internet, they often go to the store to make the final purchase. Some 1,266 members responded, of whom 63% said they went to shops to buy fashion, clothing and accessories, while 64% said they did so for beauty and cosmetic products.

Some 66% of members said they used the SalesGossip site to find in-store promotions – a figure that rises to 73% in greater London, while 59% said that if they found a sale they liked, they’d go to the store. Of this latter group, 42% said they went directly to the store, while 17% would visit the retailer or brand website first before going in-store.

“Ecommerce doesn’t mean the death of the high street,” said Elizabetta Camilleri, chief executive and co-founder of Sales Gossip. “Online and in-store together are much greater than the sum of their individual parts. And people still love the thrill of the high street. In each case, circumstances such as availability, convenience, location and type of product will determine a shopper’s channel of purchase.

She added: “Integration and consistency between in-store and ecommerce is undoubtedly important given that people are clearly mixing digital and physical. People only see one brand – a newspaper article, advertisement in a magazine or email newsletter can all lead to browsing online or in-store.”

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