October 26, 2012, 3:53 PM

Many web shoppers solve the try-it-on problem by ordering multiple sizes

41% buy clothing in multiple sizes and return those that don’t fit, U.K. study says.

Lead Photo

Without access to a store’s fitting room, many online shoppers in the U.K. order items in two or more sizes, try them on at home and send back the ones that don’t fit, a survey says.

41% of the U.K. consumers surveyed say they buy clothing items in multiple sizes online, then return the ones that don’t fit—and 11% report returning items they’ve worn, according to Fits.me, a virtual fitting room technology provider that commissioned the survey of 1,000 U.K. consumers conducted by market research firm Redshift Research. 

Those consumers are taking advantage of e-retailers’ shipping promotions, too. More than half—60%—of respondents say they won’t consider making an online purchase unless returns are free, the survey says. Almost the same amount, 61%, say they hesitate when buying clothing online because they’re concerned about sizing.

U.K. women are more likely than men to order more sizes online than they intend to keep—49% of women surveyed report doing so versus 31% of men.

“Consumers don’t trust the sizing information they see online, and with good reason: there are no universal sizing standards, and sizing may vary considerably even within a single retailer,” says Heikki Haldre, founder and chief executive of Fits.me. “They’re learning that the ‘free returns’ offered by retailers work to their advantage; it means they can order multiple sizes but return the one or more that they don’t want.”

Although Haldre adds that the costs from transportation, re-warehousing and possibly discounting returned items can be high for retailers, they don’t always lose out when consumers decide to use their homes as fitting rooms. Despite the convenience many e-retailers offer for returning items, 12% of the survey respondents say they’ve ordered multiple sizes of items to try on at home but then forgotten to return the ones they didn’t want.

comments powered by Disqus




From The IR Blog


Anna Johansson / E-Commerce

Why is social proof big for niche brands?

A small online retailer that lacks brand recognition can get a big boost from high ...


Donn Davis / E-Commerce

Technology takeover: The fashion industry is next

We are now entering the third decade of the Amazon effect, and it is just ...

Research Guides