Wednesday, 18 January 2012


Online shopping seems to be defying the doom and gloom of the recession, with e-commerce sales rising year by year. Fashion for less analyses the benefits and drawbacks of shopping for clothing on the internet.

Do you enjoy shopping online?
According to research carried out by IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group), despite the recession the UK e-retail market is currently growing at a rate of 16% each year. In 2011, over approximately £65bn was spent on online shopping in the UK, making it the biggest e-retail economy in the whole of Europe.

The online market shows no signs of slowing down either, with Boxing Day breaking online shopping records. According to Experian Hitwise, on December 26th 2011 Britons spent a staggering 13m hours shopping on the internet and e-commerce websites hits were up by a massive 19.5% compared to the same day last year.

The manager of marketing at Canterbury Christ Church University, Loris Clements, had her say on why she thinks online shopping is growing so rapidly...

Why are we shopping more online?

Research also shows that clothing is the top e-retailing sector in the UK, with the likes of River Island, ASOS, Dorothy Perkins, New Look, and Topshop, all making the IMRG Experian Hitwise Hot Shops List in 2011. 

ASOS was no.14 in the Hot Shops List
It seems we simply can't resist the lure of online shopping, but are there any drawbacks to buying our fashion items off a computer screen? Let's take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of shopping for clothing using an e-commerce website.



The ease of shopping online is one of the main reasons people love it so much; you don't have to wait around in queues, walk from shop to shop, in fact you don't even have to get ready.


The likes of River Island and Topshop won't sell everything they have in their warehouse in your local store. However their e-store will, meaning the choice of products available online is absolutely massive. At present New Look have over 1,000 different products in the sale alone on their site. When you compare this fact to the size of the New Look store in Canterbury it's quite a remarkable difference. 

Local New Look
No closing times

You can buy goods at any time of the day, whether it be three o'clock in the morning or ten o'clock at night. This means you don't have to plan ahead or waste a whole day shopping, it is also extremely helpful for those who work during the hours high-street stores are open.

Compare prices

There are so many clothing stores available online and the majority of them sell the same, or similar, products. You can compare the prices of these different goods manually or by using a comparison website. This will literally take five minutes and you can find yourself making substantial savings which you wouldn't have if you were shopping in store. is one of many comparison websites available
Consumer reviews

Whilst shopping online you can easily see consumer reviews on the product you are considering purchasing. Quite often previous consumers will not only express whether they were pleased with the product but they will also give advice on whether to buy a bigger or smaller size.

Example of a review from, click on the picture for a clearer view

No changing rooms

Obviously you can't try things on over the internet, therefore there is no guarantee that the product you are buying will fit, or that you will even like it. The majority of websites offer a refund over a certain period of time, however this can be time consuming and you will often have to pay the postage costs.


When buying online you will have to pay for the delivery of your items. Depending on where you are shopping the amount you will be required to pay varies significantly. The UK's most popular clothing e-retailer, ASOS, offers a free saver delivery, which may take longer but will not cost you a penny. The average delivery cost for most companies is usually around £4. Whilst £4 isn't a huge amount of money it is an added cost, and can make a difference especially if you are only buying one item. 

No instant help

If you are in need of any help or advice there is no-one there to aid you instantly. Most websites have a contact email and promise to reply within 24 hours, however you won't receive the direct personal customer service that you would do in store. 

Doesn't feel like your spending

It literally takes a click of a mouse to buy the items you want. This can often lead to people spending more money then they intended to because it doesn't feel like you are actually spending anything at all.


As is the case for buying anything online you need to be extremely careful about fraudulent sites and entering your details. There are several ways you can make sure your transaction is a safe one, such as making sure you use a secure site and using a bank click-safe safety protection.

Look out for a sign similar to this one



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Menachem Grossman said...

The best way to get things at lowest price without any hassle because the shipping will be on their service and I only have to search thoroughly about the quality of the product and the best price. Many times I get the chance to buy products with amazing offers because of daily deals portals.

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