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UK fashion retailers face challenge of low spending online and mobile shoppers, finds global study

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Global research suggests fashion retailers in the UK are the most successful at persuading online visitors to buy, both on mobile and desktop – but UK shoppers spend less on each order than the global average.

So finds a global study of ecommerce in fashion from Nosto, an ecommerce personalisation and retail AI platform. The data suggests that UK fashion sites have conversions rates of 1.6% on mobile and 2.9% on desktop – higher than corresponding global rates of 1.3% and 2.4% respectively.

However, the UK average order value, which is $75 on mobile and $82 on desktop, is substantially lower than the global average – $103 on mobile and $120 on desktop. This is despite the UK’s average basket size being slightly higher.  This is around 27% less on orders placed via mobile and 32% less on desktop orders – despite their orders including more items on average.

“UK fashion retailers are clearly winning when it comes to converting traffic into sales,” says James White, Head of UK & IE at Nosto. “One of their big current challenges now is how to encourage shoppers to increase their order values by buying higher value items.”

This is a complex issue, influenced by general fashion shopping habits and pricing trends in a country as well as shoppers’ confidence and trust in individual retail brands and their merchandise according to White. It could also be affected by how quickly and easily customers can return items if they don’t meet expectations. 

“One way to start to foster more sales of higher-priced merchandise is to ensure that shoppers are at least seeing higher quality, higher value alternatives to the items they’re browsing onsite,” says White. “If they don’t see them, they definitely won’t be buying them.” 

White continues: “This is an important benefit of effective ecommerce personalisation – it can analyse the products that people are browsing and automatically display a range of similar recommended items, including superior products that are priced higher. And it can do this in real-time.” 

Nosto’s study also highlights some interesting differences in fashion shopping habits in different regions.

For example, French shoppers seem to love using their phones for digital window shopping. They have the longest visit times on mobile (186 seconds), more than 20 seconds longer than the global average of 164 seconds. The average visit time on desktop in France is 253 seconds, compared with 143 seconds globally.  

In the DACH countries (Germany, Austria and Switzerland), consumers appear to be highly “committed shoppers”; if they add something to the online cart, they are more likely than those in any of the other countries analysed to go through with making a purchase. These countries have the lowest cart abandonment rates on both mobile and desktop: 73% and 66% (compared with corresponding global averages of  80% and 74%). 

Nosto’s research is based on an analysis of 1.2 billion visits to fashion ecommerce websites globally, including over 150 million visits to UK sites over the whole of 2018.

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