Most Consumers Prefer In-Store Shopping For Footwear And Apparel Over Online

Jun 23, 2016

What and how people shop online is fundamentally different from how and what they shop in-store. It has been found that consumers prefer to shop footwear and apparel in-store instead of online. The consumers who prefer online-only shopping for footwear and apparel is significantly slim while a growing number of consumers said they would like to purchase these items online if there is an in-store pickup option. This has a huge implication for digital sellers.

According to a new research by Body Labs, shopping for clothes and shoes is still primarily a brick-and-mortar store thing for both male and female shoppers. Consumers prefer in-store shopping for footwear and apparel over online.

Body Labs 2016 retail survey, conducted among 1130 internet users in the US, examined about retail purchasing behaviors of consumers. 50% of the male respondents said they only shop for footwear in-store. Top of that, a quarter more said they prefer to shop for shoes in-store instead of online, which means 69% of male shoppers primarily relied on brick-and-mortar outlets for their footwear shopping.

On the other hand, female shoppers prefer in-store shopping for footwear even more. More than a third of female respondents said they only shop in-store for footwear and some 29% said they shop digitally less than in-store. It means 65% of female internet users prefer to buy footwear from a brick-and-mortar outlet.

For apparel, most internet users surveyed said they prefer or primarily rely on brick-and-mortar store instead of online. 63% of men shopped for apparel did so mostly from physical stores with occasional online experience, while 28% never shopped for apparel digitally.

Compared to that, women skewed a little more towards online for apparel shopping. 55% of women respondents relied mostly on physical stores for clothing shopping while occasionally going digital. Contrary, 21% of respondents shopped for clothing only in physical stores.

Comparatively, digital only shoppers are rare. Only a meager 4% of male and 3% of female internet users surveyed shopped for these items, clothing and shoes only via digital.

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Ruhul Kader is a technology and business analyst based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is also the co-founder and CEO of Future Startup and author of Rethinking Failure: A short guide to living an entrepreneurial life. He writes about internet business, strategy, technology, technology policy, and society. He can be reached at

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