5 Surprising Findings About How People Actually Buy Clothes And Shoes

by MR Magazine Staff

Retail has been constantly reinventing itself, and participants race to keep up with what feels like a series of epic shifts in consumer preferences. Apparel brands are investing especially heavily in online shopping capabilities and introducing interactive features that complement apps and websites. Retailers and manufacturers are rushing out new products to keep pace with the leaders of fast fashion such as Zara, H&M, and Forever 21, which launch new fashions every week or so. But do consumers actually crave all of these changes? And which approaches can generate growth in this changing environment? Many manufacturers try to answer these questions using point-of-sale data, which often comes filtered by the retailers that gather the information; media coverage, which tends to focus on the new; and previous sales of their products, which reflect the past. To get a clearer, more-complete picture, we studied actual decisions made by 1,500 apparel and footwear shoppers in the United States. We asked them about everything from their initial motivation to shop, to the shopping journey itself, to how they felt after making their purchases. The results showed that retailers need to look beyond the buzz surrounding retail and instead focus on specific aspects of consumer behavior if they hope to improve their businesses and drive growth. According to our research, many assumptions about the ongoing revolution in retail are, in fact, myths. Read more at Harvard Business Review.