I have a shameful confession, something that my fashion loving friends would be shocked by. OK…of all the amazing shopping I have enjoyed I have never, ever, bought clothes online. There, I said it. My confession is even more shocking when you consider figures of last month’s internet shopping sales rose by 21% on last year to £5.3bn. It seems shopping online is more than just a passing craze.
Internet shopping is booming and it’s at the expense of the high street, which is struggling to compete with the competitive prices and at-home convenience. Recent figures released show consumers spent 11% more shopping online in the first half of 2011 than those who shopped on the high street and, with an increase of teenage fashionistas shopping online, it looks like this trend is set to continue.
As I said, I’m a complete grandma when it comes to shopping online having never bought a solitary item of clothing from a website. Yes, I know I’m missing out. I use the internet in every aspect of my life- banking, news updates, booking events or travel tickets…I couldn’t live without it. But there’s something about shopping online that doesn’t appeal to me or I feel could never replace the therapeutic pilgrimage around the high street.
Yet I know therapeutic is not always the case- often have I trawled round the shops all day, night out planned, perfect outfit in mind, only to retreat home empty handed and completely deflated. The beauty of the internet being no matter how specific your fashion request an ever-accommodating search engine will provide a solution, which is evident in the 34% increase of online shopping last year.
Further shopping nightmares include mass crowds, sales minefields and Christmas shopping. The stress of fighting through hoards of weekend shoppers, scouring the rails for the last-in-your-size floral tea-dress or debating which set of socks to get Dad this year, have encouraged high numbers of you to instead seek sanctuary at your computers. December 2010 saw a record monthly high of £6.4billion spent on internet shopping sprees as people avoided the Christmas rush and with stores like Selfridges and Next putting more emphasis on reduction sales online there’s no need for crazy 4am queuing to bag a bargain.
So, as the figures speak for them selves it’s about time I found what all the fuss is about. But with all the endless shopping possibilities at the click of my mouse I begin not knowing where to start. ASOS and Net-a-Porter head the runway as the biggest online fashion retailers and Next is hot on their heels with the largest online sales for a high street store. Websites such as Very, Simply Be and Boohoo also offer exciting shopping experiences with everything from plus size fashion to unique celebrity ranges,
If there’s any internet shopping experts out there who have any tips for me then please feel free to share your wisdom. Think of it as helping the online aged.