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Online fashion browsing grows but purchases drop as UK shoppers remain “cautious”

Tom Bottomley
03 November 2022

Digital fashion browsing was up but purchases dropped year-on-year in September 2022, with “increased consumer caution” once again pointing to rising living costs.

According to the latest data from True Fit’s Fashion Genome, which looked at insight from 80 million active shoppers and 17,000 brands, fashion website visits were up 14% year-on-year in September, but online checkouts dipped -8%, though they did recover to -2% year-on-year in the first half of October.

True Fit Managing Director, Sarah Curran, said: “As shoppers are becoming more cautious, their consideration phase for purchasing is lengthening. And this is why we’re seeing the trend for lots of browsing, as consumers search around for the best deals or take longer to validate their decision before committing to a purchase, prompting traffic levels to be buoyed.

“This sustained growth in online browsing points to demand still being there, but with longer discovery and consideration phases, the emphasis is put even more squarely on retailers and brands to ensure that consumers are supported during their buying journey with rich, relevant and meaningful customer engagement from first-look right through to the checkout.”

Another key finding in the True Fit data showed that, while order numbers were down on 2021 levels, shoppers are spending more when they do convert, with average order values (AOV) up 2% in September – rising to +6% in October as Christmas draws closer, pointing to quality over quantity and an overall more considered shopping trend.

Separate research of 2,000 shoppers by Sensormatic Solutions showed that 81% of UK consumers had already begun their Christmas shopping, with a third (31%) already starting in September and half (50%) starting in October, so there could be some early Christmas cheer for those brands and retailers who are getting it right.

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