In the first Drapers Multichannel Report published last year, the findings illustrated how shoppers are using a number of channels to browse and purchase fashion, yet in the second annual report, we have discovered that bricks-and-mortar stores remain key, despite consumers’ multichannel approach to shopping.

As retailers continue to evolve their multichannel offers with personalisation, and greater, more seamless connectivity between the channels, the second annual Drapers Multichannel Report, highlights that multichannel shopping is becoming increasingly the norm for consumers.

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Drapers’ survey of 2,000 UK consumers reveals that the majority like to browse clothing and footwear styles and prices via two or more channels (65%), such as stores, websites, mobile sites and apps, TV shopping channels and social media. Going online and into physical stores are by far the two most popular channels for consumers to browse, 80% and 70% respectively…while catalogues and mail order remain popular at 26%.

Instore wifi is also becoming more prevalent on the high street – Ted Baker and John lewis are some of the few to already showcase the technology in flagship stores. The survey also found about 25% of shoppers have already used  wifi instore. Younger age groups (somewhat unsurprisingly) have taken more to instore technology, as 25-to-34-year-olds are twice as likely to have used these convenient hotspots than 45-to-54-year-olds.

Mobile plays an importance part in retail today. A substantial portion of web traffic now comes from mobile – Reiss reported last year that mobile accounted for 35% of visits to its site. To echo the point, Drapers’ survey found that nearly half of the respondents use their mobile to browse and/or buy (45%).

Reports show that 22% of shoppers use their mobile to research clothing and footwear, and then buy online on another device or instore. Currently, 19% said they browse and also complete their purchases on their phone. Online shoppers preferring to use a laptop or tablet is 41% and on other devices is 33%.

The continued rise in smartphone ownership and growing sales made via mobile devices, suggest that consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable with mobile commerce despite these barriers. Ofcom reported that 60% of mobile phone owners in the UK owned a smartphone at the end of last year, while the ImRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index revealed that the share of online sales made through mobile devices, doubled year-on-year to 23.2% in the second quarter of 2013.

Drapers’ top line findings:

  • The majority of shoppers (65%) use two or more channels in the browsing process, with retailers’ stores (79.9%) and websites (70%) by far the most popular channels.
  • Women like to browse retailers’ websites more frequently than men (76% compared with 63%), as well as catalogues/mail order (30% compared with 20%).
  • Retailers’ stores is the most popular channel for browsing for all age groups except 25-to-34-year-olds, who prefer going online.
  • Social media is much more popular with 18-to-24-year-olds (16%) than it is with 25-to-34-year-olds (6%).




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