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Convenience shopping bad news for brands online

12 August 2010 by Stephen McNamara

As H&M and Zara ready their online stores for a September release, they may be disappointed to hear that just 1 in 10 consumers go directly to a brand‘s website when shopping online.

After interviewing 2,000 online consumers, ecommerce trading solutions provider eCommera found that nearly half of consumers (42 per cent) prefer to buy from an aggregated online retailer offering a choice of brands. Just 13.6 per cent of shoppers actually go directly to a brand’s website with one-stop shops such as Amazon their preferred first point of call.

Despite brand building inspiring trust among consumers, ultimately convenience appears to be the main incentive for shoppers online.

The report also revealed that consumers are more likely to visit a website that is recommended by family or friends, with word of mouth one of the two key factors in online browsing. While 7 out of 10 identified personal recommendations as influential to their decision, just 21 per cent said advertising on TV, radio and print had played a part and 35 per cent of consumers said Google search is one of the top two factors when choosing a website to buy products online.

Fortunately for H&M and Zara, the brand’s high street presence was cited as the second most important factor by 46 per cent of those surveyed.

H&M’s online store will go live on 16 September and will sell clothing for men, women and children as well as soft furnishings, which are currently unavailable in its 168 UK high-street stores. Zara will also complement its 65 UK stores by selling fashion online for the first time.