Research finds out why people love to use fashion shopping apps

August 11, 2016, University of Manchester
Research finds out why people love to use fashion shopping apps
Credit: University of Manchester

Research undertaken by The University of Manchester has found that most people shop on fashion apps at 8pm, and apps with strong social media integration are the most popular.

Shopping via is becoming increasingly important. According to a 2015 IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group) , visits to ecommerce sites via and tablet devices accounted for 45% of all ecommerce traffic in the UK, and retailers who have not 'gone mobile' are missing out on £6.6bn a year. Fashion shopping is also one of the most important areas of the online economy.

Dr Christopher J. Parker and Huchen Wang wanted to find out why people love to use the most popular fashion shopping apps, in order for developers to be able to design better, more enjoyable and useful apps.

The research found that companies who design shopping apps that focus on shopping efficiency and convenience are the most highly valued, and that consumers do most of their online shopping at 8pm, a time which the researchers suggest companies should target in their marketing.

They also found that apps which offer personalisation and with social media are more likely to perform better, with customers wanting to use to app more often and make more purchases - but they say that most developers are yet to capitalise on this. For example, retailers such as Next, ASOS and Zara allow individual items on their app to be shared on social networks and instant messenger clients (e.g. Facebook, Twitter or Whatsapp) - however, such posts are not currently presented on these networks in a way that enhances person-to-person discussions and creates what they call 'social excitement'.

"This study reveals the practical focus of fashion retail apps, within an industry often focused on physical interactions, and provides a focus for fashion retail app designers to tailor their products. Future apps should be designed specifically with this in mind to increase the chance of consumer engagement," says Dr Christopher J. Parker, lecturer in CAD

The research provides an original insight into why enjoy and use the most commerce fashion shopping apps, which differs from previous studies that focused on physical retail environments or general online shopping behaviours on non-fashion web stores accessed through a PC or laptop.

Explore further: Will smartphone apps kill social media as a back-to-school shopping tool?

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