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US online apparel shoppers are more likely to buy clothing frequently on Amazon (52%) than on a retailer website (47%), reports CPC Strategy [download page] in a survey of 1,502 online apparel buyers conducted by Survata. Amazon’s somewhat surprising strength in this area makes more sense when considering the website features that are most important to shoppers.

Asked which of several website features they value the most when shopping for clothing online, and the largest share (35%) of respondents pointed to a secure checkout.

A secure checkout is likely a pre-requisite for shoppers – and is something common to virtually all major online retailers (and thus not a key differentiator for Amazon).

But beyond secure checkout, two other features stand out as being important to shoppers:

  • The ability to filter items (most important to 21% of respondents); and
  • Customer reviews (19%).

These features are strengths of Amazon, particularly its reviews, which are extremely influential in consumers’ purchase behavior. Interestingly, few (3%) pointed to another Amazon strength – personalized recommendations – as being their most valued feature.

Nonetheless, filtering ability and reviews seem more critical than even high-resolution images and a mobile-friendly experience.

That doesn’t mean that those aren’t important features – just not the most critical. And the lack of keen importance for mobile-friendliness may relate to a preference for desktops when shopping for apparel. In fact, fully 71% of respondents said they prefer to shop for clothing on their desktop or laptop, compared to 18% on their phone and 8% on their tablet.

Other Survey Highlights:

  • About two-thirds (68%) of respondents say they’ve purchased clothes on Amazon in the past 6 months;
  • Among those, the leading reasons given (of 5 listed) for doing so, are: free and fast shipping (for 31% of Amazon apparel shoppers) and low prices (25%);
  • Online apparel shoppers overall are most likely to have purchased casual apparel (55%) online in the previous 6 months, followed by loungewear (29%), basics (29%) and outerwear (28%).

About the Data: The results are based on a survey of 1,502 online respondents ages 18-65. All respondents have purchased clothing online, though most do so only rarely or occasionally.

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