Qualitative research on online shopping behaviour for apparel

Online shopping has been on the rise in the past few years. This has been true, especially since the advent of COVID towards the end of 2019. People have been restricted in terms of when, where, and at what time they can venture outside. Stores, on the other hand, have faced restrictions with regards to when and for how long they can open up. This has increasingly led stores as well as consumers to get online.
Now that stores have ventured online, they are facing a need to well understand the online shopping behavior of consumers. Through data and analytics, online businesses can understand quantitative factors about their existing as well as potential consumers.
However, there is also a need for a qualitative approach to understanding online shopping behavior. Here, we have tried to gauge the online shopping behavior for apparel based on not a quantitative but a qualitative understanding.
Online Shopping Behavior for Apparel:
• The conservative shopping behavior: There are many conservative shoppers for whom the physical purchase of apparel is the perfect way of shopping. For them, seeing and feeling the product before they make an actual purchase is of utmost importance. For such shoppers, online shopping is only an alternative when physical or in-store shopping is not possible. These people require online shopping to feel simple and easy. The website should be easy to navigate, should preferably provide free shipping, and shouldn’t have unnecessary hassles like registration. They will prefer to have cash-on-delivery options so that they can make sure of the quality of the apparel and then only pay for it.

These are the types of shoppers who wouldn’t shop online if it were feasible for them to shop physically from the store. If online stores can provide such shoppers with an easy and clear experience of online shopping, they would be better inclined to shop from the same website.

• Spontaneous shoppers: Many online apparel shoppers are spontaneous with their purchases. They tend to be active and emotional with their online shopping. Online stores tend to advertise largely various discounts or new sales. These shoppers are easily swayed by such offers and will spontaneously shop when there are good sales or a better apparel selection. The fact that online shopping is easy and fast enables them to make purchases now and then spontaneously.
Considering such online shopping behavior, online apparel stores can target such consumers through email marketing of new sales, providing some discounts, benefits, giveaways on larger purchases, reduced shipping costs,  free shipping, etc. Also, such shoppers will be shopping quickly and won’t spend much time making decisions. Thus, proper visuals will also help cater to such consumers.

• The forerunners: This is the online shopping behavior in which the shopper is very comfortable as well as experienced in online shopping. Online consumers are well aware of all the new trends and can easily adjust to any new technicalities. These consumers are not emotional and take their time in making purchase decisions; they will take their time finding the right brands, comparing features, reviews, prices, etc.
These people tend to follow fashion influencers or trendsetters and make purchases accordingly. Also, they will come back to an online store if they have a previous good experience. They will even leave reviews and comments on their purchases.
These are some of the online shopping behaviors for apparel that are apparent to online consumers. Online stores need to understand these consumers’ behaviors and accordingly cater to their needs to increase their sales.

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