Apparel Shoppers’ Top Considerations
Clothing and footwear shoppers consider myriad factors when determining whether or not to purchase an apparel product. But user-generated content tops the list.
Nearly nine in 10 (89%) of shoppers consider customer ratings and reviews when it comes to making decisions on whether or not to buy an apparel item. And 78% consider customer photos and videos.
In fact, UGC is even more impactful than recommendations from friends and family. Just over half (55%) of shoppers consider personal recommendations whether making an apparel purchase decision.
Other, more traditional marketing initiatives fall much lower on the list of considerations.
Now, we’ll take a closer look at how some of these top factors impact apparel shoppers’ behavior.
Customer Ratings and Reviews
Ratings and reviews rank as the top marketing factor impacting apparel shopping behavior. Apparel shoppers depend on this content – wherever they are on the purchase journey.
For starters, ratings and reviews are key to product discovery for apparel shoppers. Nearly three-quarters (74%) of apparel shoppers use ratings and reviews to learn about clothing and footwear products they’ve never purchased before.
In addition, ratings and reviews are the most trusted content among apparel shoppers. 87% of shoppers say they trust ratings and reviews when it comes to making decisions on whether or not to purchase a clothing or footwear item.
Customer Photos and Videos
A single apparel item will look different on each person. Photos and videos help shoppers understand what an item looks like on someone like them.
Brand-provided imagery has a role to play. But seeing photos of an apparel product on a real person in real life is even more powerful.
So it comes as no surprise that user-generated photos and videos are the #2 marketing consideration among apparel shoppers.
User-generated photos and videos are an important tool for product discovery. 64% of shoppers say they use this content to learn about new (or new to them) shoes or clothing products.
In addition, nearly eight in 10 (79%) of consumers say they trust user-generated visual content when it comes to making a decision about purchasing an apparel item.
Recommendations from Family/Friends
Traditional word of mouth is alive and well for apparel shoppers. In fact, it ranks #3 in terms of marketing considerations.
Almost half (49%) of apparel shoppers turn to recommendations from family and friends to learn about products they’ve never purchased before. And 59% trust these recommendations when it comes to making a purchase decision.
Search Engine Results
Oftentimes, an apparel shoppers’ purchase journey starts on Google or a similar search engine. Those search results are a key consideration for apparel shoppers.
42% of apparel shoppers use search engine results to learn about clothing or footwear products they’ve never purchased before. Just over a quarter (26%) trust these results when deciding whether or not to purchase a given apparel product.
Site Search Results
In most cases, an apparel shopper doesn’t navigate directly to a product page. Instead, they land on a homepage – for example Athleta or Amazon.com – and then type in a search word or phrase.
The search results on retailer sites help apparel shoppers discover new products. More than a third (35%) of shoppers use those search results to learn about new-to-them clothing or footwear products.
In addition, 31% trust the search results on a retailer site when deciding whether or not to purchase an apparel product.
Recommendations from In-Store Specialists
While ecommerce continues to grow, there’s still tremendous value in brick-and-mortar retail. A large part of that value is being able to consult with in-store associates.
28% of shoppers use recommendations from store specialists to learn more about apparel products they’ve never purchased before; 20% trust these recommendations when it comes time to make a purchase decision.
Consumers spend a ton of time on social media. They use these apps to keep up with family and friends. But they also use them to discover new apparel products.
Instagram is the most popular channel for consumers to learn about new-to-them apparel products – followed by TikTok.
What’s more, a significant portion of shoppers trust social media when it’s time to decide whether or not to purchase an apparel product. Instagram is the most trusted channel among apparel shoppers, followed by TikTok.
These days, many apparel brands and retailers invest in influencer strategies. This makes sense. Yet, influencer endorsements may not pull as much weight as these businesses would like to think.
Sure, 18% of apparel shoppers use influencer endorsements to learn about new-to-them products. But a mere 14% trust these endorsements when it comes time to make a purchase decision.
Other Marketing Channels
In the not-so-distant past, many clothing and footwear brands and retailers invested most of their marketing dollars in traditional tactics like TV commercials and celebrity endorsements. In fact, some brands and retailers still do.
But these traditional marketing channels don’t have the influence they once did.
What’s more, consumer trust in these traditional marketing channels is relatively low – especially when compared to trust in user-generated content and personal recommendations.
User-Generated Content Tops the List of Purchase Considerations for Apparel Shoppers
Today, a staggering 89% of shoppers consider ratings and reviews when making apparel purchase decisions. 78% consider customer photos and videos. In fact, user-generated content is THE most influential marketing strategy among apparel shoppers.
Shoppers tap into UGC to discover new apparel products. And they trust this content when making purchase decisions. Collecting and displaying a high volume of reviews across all apparel products must be a top priority.
And, if you’re not already, start collecting photos and videos as part of reviews. Showcasing user-generated visual content will allow shoppers to see what an item looks like on real people in real life. This will increase their confidence – and their likelihood of converting.
For Apparel Shoppers, Traditional Marketing Tactics Aren’t as Impactful as They Used to Be
In the past, clothing and footwear brands and retailers invested heavily in traditional marketing channels including TV commercials, celebrity endorsements, and print ads. But these tactics aren’t as impactful as they once were.
That doesn’t necessarily mean you should eliminate these tactics altogether. Rather, look for opportunities to incorporate user-generated content into these marketing tactics. For example, create an email campaign featuring top-rated clothing products. Another idea is to incorporate star ratings or an excerpt from a glowing review into your print ads or catalogs.
By infusing user-generated content into your other marketing initiatives, you’ll capture more shoppers’ attention. And, you’ll boost conversion rates, too.
Check out the survey hub for further insights.