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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Mabbett

High Street Vs Online Clothes Shopping Customer Experience

"In 2021 the online fashion industry market value worldwide was $759.5 billion and it’s predicted to reach $1.0 trillion by 2025", according to Common Thread.

We’re currently experiencing a downward trend in high street clothes shopping, due to an increase in shopping online for clothing. The coronavirus pandemic had a major impact on high street fashion retailers as some stores were forced to close and it also led to the collapse of Debenhams and Topshop.

Whilst we move online for purchasing clothing, what are retailers currently doing to ultimately improve their online services to retain customers? Physical high street clothing stores allow customers to use fitting rooms, ask staff for sizing advice, and view clothing in-person, whereas now although online clothes shopping is more convenient as you can shop wherever you are, from your smartphone or tablet, however there is no customer personalisation.

With over 12 million ecommerce websites globally, clothing brands need to stand out and show their differences. Currently there are only a select few online fashion brands who are using virtual clothes fitting room technologies, to give their customers the opportunity to try before they buy online, meaning less returns.

With more orders being placed online, clothing return rates are at their highest for some companies, for example boohoo have reported their rate of clothing returns has risen so much in the past 3 months that it’s led to sales falling compared to a year ago. Pre-tax profits for the 12 months to the end of February 2022 plunged to £7.8 million from £124.7 million in the year before!

As Gen Zs are the main online shoppers, they are surrounded daily by technology, so why do retailers not give their customers the personalisation through the use of technology to improve their online clothes shopping experiences?

R Reflections offers virtual clothes fitting rooms to clothing retailers globally and is already working with New Look, FatFace, Yours Clothing and Gym King, to reduce returns and increase customer personalisation. If you’re an owner or decision maker of a clothing brand/retailer then I’d love to hear your thoughts on this matter, please feel free to email me at

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