Consumers who purchase apparel online do so because they perceive it to be a cheaper and more convenient way of buying than from shops and stores, a new study by researchers at Florida State University (FSU) has revealed.

The survey of more than 560 men and women revealed that gender and age could not be used to determine who is more likely to buy clothes online.

"The most surprising thing we found was that what motivates people to buy online doesn't necessarily have to do with demographics, but with psychological factors such as innovations, involvement with the product and being technologically savvy," said FSU marketing professor and study author Ronald Goldsmith.

"Online buyers used the Internet more hours per week and reported they were more likely to buy online in the future than non-buyers," he added.

"We found that online shoppers are into fun. They see buying clothes online as more fun than going shopping at the mall. They like the flexibility and variety of online buying and enjoy the fact that they can shop online 24/7."

However, some of those questioned who had not purchased apparel over the internet expressed concerns over the security of online buying.

The study added that if firms want to boost sales then they should highlight the differences and advantages between online and in-store buying instead of regarding them as unimportant or ignoring them altogether.