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T-shirts, tops and trainers drive UK fashion and footwear purchases

By Chris Dawson March 13, 2019 - 12:21 pm

Royal Mail has looked at shopping trends in fashion and footwear to understand online shopping behaviour in UK fashion.

UK Fashion trends

T-shirts and tops are the most commonly purchased clothing items. Almost half of online shoppers purchase t-shirts and tops online. Jeans are also popular and 30% of shoppers are planning on purchasing a pair in the next year.

Social media plays a big part in influencing the purchasing decisions of online fashion shoppers. Almost half of online shoppers consider social media influential when purchasing clothing and accessories. Digital content about discounts and offers are the most influential (48 per cent), followed by friends’ recommendations (42%) and retailer adverts (41%).

The average fashion shopper spends £28 online compared to £27 spent in-store per month. The average fashion shopper is 46 years old, more likely to be female and live in the suburbs.

Fashion shoppers choose to buy clothing online because they can make purchases in their own time (64%), they are attracted by a wider choice of products (53 per cent) and due to cheaper prices (42%).

The quality of the delivery experience plays a key role in driving customers online. Factors that would encourage customers to shop more online include delivery tracking (20 per cent) and the option to collect items if they are not in (14 per cent). 42 per cent of shoppers are prepared to pay more for the convenience of a home delivery and 56 per cent would track every item they order, if the service was available.

Footwear trends

Trainers (72%) are the most commonly purchased item of footwear. Sandals (50%), smart shoes (38%) and boots (34%) are also popular.

Peer-to-peer recommendations are crucial in driving purchasing decisions. Almost three in five footwear shoppers consider social media to influence their purchases. Offers (56%) and friends’ recommendations (50%) are far more influential than celebrity endorsements (17%) and blogger recommendations (28%).

One fantastic shoe retailer example of using social media to influence shopping is Tayyab Akhlaq of Public Desire who has built a massive business with Instagram advertising and has over a million followers.



The average footwear shopper spends £27 online compared to £22 spent in-store per month. The average footwear shopper is 42 years old, more likely to be female and live in the suburbs.

Footwear shoppers choose to buy online as they can make purchases in their own time (56%), there is a wide range of choice (54%) and cheaper prices (44%).

Again the delivery experience is key. Almost two thirds of footwear shoppers feel more confident when ordering online with tracking. 59% would track every item they order if the service was available.

“For retailers in the fashion and footwear sectors, to be successful it’s essential to understand the distinct habits of these shoppers. Social media is increasingly influential, especially for younger shoppers, but the recommendation of friends is far more important than celebrity endorsements. Providing as much information as possible is key when it comes to deliveries, with tracking giving customers increased confidence when ordering online.”
– A spokesperson for Royal Mail

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