It’s fair to say that the pandemic has impacted shopping behaviours enormously causing a seismic shift to online shopping. Given that children have this annoying habit of growing, “buy new clothes” is often an item that can feature every month on a parent’s “to-do” list.
Keeping your child in new shoes and clothes as they grow can be a time-consuming (and costly!) never mind buying clothes for yourself. Parents are naturally keen therefore to find ways of streamlining their time spent shopping for clothes. We recently carried out a study with our community of engaged parents to gather insights into their clothes-buying behaviours, both for themselves and their children, and to understand what kinds of changes they would like to see retailers making to improve the overall experience.
We were interested to discover a strong focus amongst parents on improving their online retail experience as opposed to in-store. This makes sense given the last year we’ve all had, but what do parents want to change about online clothes shopping specifically?
Would you like tailored insights for your brand? Use our trusted panels of engaged parents and our dedicated private platform to gather critical insights to help your decision making and activate customers. Contact us now to find how we can help
How would parents improve the experience of shopping for clothes online?
There were three key areas of focus for improvement with regard to online clothes shopping we noticed parents mentioning frequently in the study – stock, sizing and delivery & returns.
1. The need for regularly updated stock
The online shop window is more important than ever for parents looking to buy new clothes for their children. Our research found that 93% of parents research online before buying clothing or shoes. Parents look for outfit ideas online and if a website’s listings aren’t up-to-date with the latest styles, these savvy shoppers are quick to move on.
It’s not just styles that are important though. Parents told us they get particularly frustrated when website listings don’t match up with the available stock.
“Online they could tell you the sizes that are available, it’s so time consuming clicking into items and they are not in stock.”
2. Inconsistency of Sizing
Another bug-bear related to stock was a lack of consistency across sizing for children’s clothing and a narrow range of sizes and styles for older children and teens.
“I’d love to see universal sizing charts, some retailers in Ireland do not use the age bracket sizing or the centimetre bands vary between shops.”
“It’s much harder to find children’s clothes once they are aged above 11 and even then my teen girls find the clothes very childish and not stylish. Teens like to see outfits put together, the full idea like bags, shoes etc.”
Nailing these areas of your website will help to attract loyal parents who appreciate a user experience that matches their needs as consumers.
3. Win over parents with free delivery and an easy returns process
Across multiple sectors of retail, parents consistently mention to us the value of free delivery and hassle-free returns to them – these are such important factors that their availability will often make or break a sale amongst Irish parents when buying online. And it makes sense! As we mentioned above, parents are busy, hassled and time-poor. They don’t have the time to be faffing around at the post office with complicated returns procedures and they resent paying expensive delivery costs for items that will often be returned anyway (due to aforementioned poor sizing labelling!).
“I hate the hassle of returning. The hassle of going into the post office and putting up with crazy queues there and high fees for returns…”
“Definitely want free returns for online shopping as I am unlikely to buy something online if I cannot return it.”
Parents have also told us that they are more likely to buy from Irish businesses online to support the local economy if free delivery is offered.
“I would really appreciate free delivery, as I would order more items and spend more money on Irish websites therefore protecting Irish jobs.”
“Free delivery would encourage to shop online with Irish retailers more frequently and spend more money on items.”
How to use these insights to improve your brand’s online experience
- Make sure your online store has easy-to-understand sizing information (that’s as universal as you can make it) to help parents particularly when it comes to kids’ clothes/shoes.
- It might be time to overhaul your business’ deliveries processes. Easy online order processes (ideally free) are attractive to parents. Parents have also told to us that they value tracked, accurate delivery window times and more detailed delivery options (i.e. fast and regular postal options).
- Most parents research kids clothing online, so ensure your SEO is up to date and your product information is fully filled out to optimise the chances of them finding your products online. If you can include a product review section, so much the better! Parents highly value and trust reviews and ratings from their peers.
RECOMMENDED READING: Bite-Sized Insights: How Parents Experience Irish Websites
Find out how to attract parents to your brand
Looking for ways to connect your brand or product with Irish parents? Contact us directly to find out how ParentsandBrands can help you with valuable in-depth parent-specific insights concentrated on your business/product sector.
Would you like business-transforming insights from parents for your business? Use our tailored panels of engaged parents and our dedicated private platform to gather critical insights to help influence consumers to deliver long term profitability. Contact us now to find how we can help.