The growing number of influential Weibo commentators are increasingly opening their own online shops or promoting products.
A PricewaterhouseCooper's survey says reports that more consumers are shopping for apparel online, but that familiarity with established retailers and brand trust is a driving force behind consumer site selection and online purchasing. The percentage of Internet users reporting that they have bought clothes online has doubled from 8% in September 1999 to 16% in May 2000. "The likely drivers of this increase include positive holiday experiences convincing some seasonal online purchasers to stick around, more established brands moving online and more online apparel shopping options," says Mary Brett Whitfield, Columbus, Ohio-based principal consultant and director of PricewaterhouseCooper's E-Retail Intelligence System. Among the 60% of Internet users surveyed that report shopping online for clothing, 41% do so at least once a month and 56% have made at least one online purchase. Four of ten online apparel buyers expect to buy more online in the future. In addition, 77% of those surveyed say they bought clothing from sites operated by a familiar store or catalog retailer. One-third bought clothes from sites operated by a manufacturer.