5 vital mobile stats from the Drapers 2012 etail report

Earlier this year, Drapers released an incredibly useful document for fashion brands – their 2012 Etail Report. Called ‘The sweet spot for selling fashion online‘, it’s packed with great statistics, and you can download it for yourself here. But as it’s a 50-page report, we thought a short summary might be useful.

So here’s the top five insights we found for fashion retailers thinking about going mobile:

Customers want to shop directly from their favourite retailers

Forget social shopping, discounters, and selling on Facebook –  46% of customers start their shopping by going directly to their favourite retailer’s website.

This stat shows that developing your brand’s online shop is still the most effective strategy for driving sales. Your customers want to buy directly from you – make it easy for them!

Mobile shopping is growing rapidly

9% of all online shoppers have bought fashion via their mobile phone, with 13% saying they plan to in future.

But that’s a huge increase from 2%, which was the percentage of online shoppers who used their phones to buy anything (not just fashion!) in 2010.

Mobile commerce is growing just as fast as smartphone penetration – and that’s pretty fast. 51% of people in the UK now own a smartphone (according to Google), an increase from just 30% in 2011.

If you’re selling to 24-34 year olds, mobile is key

The figures for mobile shopping spike amongst this age group, with 43% saying that they’ve either bought or plan to buy fashion via their phones.

This age group are also the most frequent online shoppers, with nearly a quarter buying fashion online once a week or more. As well as this, they’re the most likely to look at retailer’s websites and apps via a tablet (iPad or otherwise.)

Creating a mobile optimised website and shopping app is the key to taking advantage of the extra sales from this age group.

But younger and older shoppers are less convinced

40% of 18-24 year olds say they wouldn’t buy fashion on their current mobile phone, suggesting that they don’t own a smartphone. However, these digital natives are prime candidates for mobile shopping once they get older, earn a bit more, and get an upgrade.

Amongst older consumers, the over 55s are much less likely to buy fashion online at all, let alone by mobile – nearly 40% say they never shop for clothes on the internet.

But about half of all over-55 shoppers do go online to check prices before they buy in-store, so they are using brand websites for research.

All online shoppers prefer a mobile optimised website or app (or both!)

Just 17% of shoppers said they were happy to look at a retailer’s website however it appeared on their phone.

The key finding behind this chart?

You need to make it easy for customers to browse and buy on their mobiles with a mobile optimised site or app. Your usual website isn’t enough.

Short on time? Here’s the summary, summarised

  • Most consumers go directly to their favourite retailer’s websites when shopping online
  • 83% of consumers prefer to look at fashion on their phones via an app or a mobile website.
  • Shops targeting the 24-34 age groups can increase sales by improving their mobile offering.
  • But if your products are mainly bought by teenagers or the over-55s, you may find less benefit.