26% of clothing transactions are influenced by online

26% of clothing transactions are influenced by online

Retailers are being urged to invest in their multi-channel capabilities after new research found shoppers spend significantly more when they are able to browse across stores, online and catalogues before making a purchase.

According to business advisory firm Deloitte, multi-channel consumers spend 82% more per transaction than a customer who only shops in store. Indeed, the average expenditure for multi-channel customers across clothing, home and electrical products is GBP116 (US$182) per transaction compared with GBP64 for store-only customers.

The research also found that by value, 38% of all retail transactions across the clothing, electrical and home sectors are now influenced by the internet, with 21% coming from direct online purchases whilst 17% are ‘multi-channel’ transactions.

“The commercial imperative for retailers to tackle multi-channel and the incentive for getting it right is clear,” explains Ian Geddes, UK head of retail at Deloitte. “The multi-channel consumer is particularly well informed about the products they buy and this greater confidence is resulting in a higher value and a higher volume of purchases.

“There are already examples of UK retailers doing well in multi-channel but the overriding feeling is that there are many more opportunities to grow. This is particularly the case for those retailers able to respond quickly to customers changing buying habits between channels, for example, the recent growth of clothing online.”

The research estimates that 26% of clothing transactions are influenced by online, and that multi-channel clothing customers spend GBP65 per transaction against GBP52 in store.

“Consumers have been relatively slow to switch to buying clothes online but as retailers improve their websites' visual merchandising and offer free and easy returns this is changing fast,” notes Colin Jeffrey, head of multi-channel at Deloitte.

The research also found that 1% of multi-channel clothing shoppers used their mobile device for research purposes, but this is expected to increase rapidly.

Catalogues also remain an important element of shopping in the UK, with 12% of web influenced clothing shoppers using them for research purposes.