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What Shoppers Want and Where They’re Going to Get it

Omnichannel is the watchword for every fashion retailer today, and with good reason. The way shoppers get inspired, search and purchase these days typically incorporates a range of tech tools and myriad trips to the mall. To focus on just online or just stores would result in lost revenue. Just as looking solely at prices only tells part of the story.

For its 2017 Fashion Shopping Habits Survey, coupon platform Dealspotr queried 303 consumers who visited its website in search of ways to get a discount on fashion items to dive into their shopping habits and preferences. These respondents spanned all ages from Gen Z to Baby Boomers, and while the majority were female, 18.9% were male.

When it comes to window shopping, that “window” is often a phone screen for Gen Z, as 47 percent say at least half of their apparel browsing and search is done online versus in store. That said, only 12.5% report completing 50 percent or more of their transactions on mobile. For this group, in-store tops other shopping modes with 43.1% opting to checkout in a physical location more than 50 percent of the time. By doing so, they defy the expectations that shoppers browse in-store but shopping online.

Phones were also a top tool for other age groups as well. “Millennials, Gen Xers, and Boomers browsed through a wider variety of shopping methods, but phones were still a popular method, with 39 percent of Millennials and 37 percent of Gen X + Boomers saying they do most of their fashion browsing on their phones,” the report noted.

As it turns out though, all age groups polled showed a preference for store purchases over online and mobile.

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When it’s time to decide where to shop, all respondents had one other thing in common: they ranked value as the top “extremely important” factor. For Gen Z, compelling coupons and merchandise selection were considered No. 2 and No. 3. For those above the age of 20, a good return policy ranked as the universal second choice. From there, coupons factored into Millennials’ decision making next, while selection came in third for both Gen X and Boomers.

For all groups, influencers, social presence and newsletters hovered at the bottom of the list of 12 criteria, indicating they hold little to no sway over shoppers.

Amazon has been working very hard to convert apparel shoppers, and it seems to be working. “Amazon’s dominance is very pronounced among Millennials and Gen X / Boomer shoppers. Among these demographics, Amazon is by a wide margin the most popular way to buy clothing,” the report noted. For teens, Amazon came in third behind H&M and Forever 21, predictably. And there’s opportunity for the mega marketplace to burrow even deeper into shoppers’ hearts, the results showed, if it were to offer better deals.

While better coupons were a top request across all retailers, Gen X and Boomer shoppers could be swayed to shop more at Kohl’s, J.C. Penney and Gap if they offered a more stylish assortment. For Gen Z, trendier looks at H&M, Macy’s and Kohl’s would grab more market share.

Target ranked second, third and fourth for Gen X/Boomers, Millennials and Gen Z respectively. Department stores Kohl’s, Nordstrom and Macy’s rounded out the top five go-to spots for the combined Gen X and Boomer demographic, but none appeared in the top five for younger shoppers. Other than Nordstrom’s standing among the older half of respondents, luxury department stores took a beating.