August 23, 2012

Guest Post: Advantages and Disadvantages of Clothes Shopping Online

A recent Infographic posted on Mashable showed that "since 2003, online shopping for back-to-school items has quadrupled — now with 39.4% of shoppers buying at least one item for school on the Internet." Serena approached me with this idea for a guest post and since I'm a big online shopper, I definitely wanted her to share her thoughts. She often shares her expertise about the fashion industry with her freelance writing. She recommends UK company Choice for fashion subjects such as rising brands, different styles of designer clothing and upcoming trends.

There are many advantages to buying your clothes online, which can range from the ease of shopping at any time of the day, through to the wide range of items that you can find when shopping. Moreover, shopping online can result in finding excellent bargains and cost savings, as well as a more international range of clothing brands. However, there are a few disadvantages to clothes shopping online that should also be considered. These include issues over recommendations, time to receive clothes, and returns, and are expanded upon below:


Ability to Shop 24/7

Shopping online means that you can pick up items 24 hours a day wherever you are. This means that you can free up your own time to buy items, and can make it much easier to shop when you need to, rather than rushing to get to physical shops after work or on the weekend.

Wider Range of Items

Online shops often have a much larger warehouse catalogue than a high street shop, meaning that you can search for much more specific items, as well as a wider range of different sizes. As a result, you can often find items online that you wouldn’t normally be able to find on the high street and in other shops.

Price Bargains

Online storefronts often don’t have the same overheads as a physical shop, which means that they can afford to pass on savings to consumers. In this way, you can typically expect to pay less for certain items online, while more generally saving money on the cost of travelling to the shops.

International Range

Tying into the previous advantage of an online shop having a much greater range of items to choose from, shopping online can also mean that you can search for clothes from a more diverse set of international brands that might not typically be available to you. These brands might include more specialist sizes and styles of clothing.

Speed of Use

Online clothes shopping can be significantly faster than buying clothes from a store. You can search more quickly and accurately, and can also build up recommendations and lookbooks from past purchases. This gives you an advantage over wading through the different sections of a physical shop to find what you are looking for.


Questions and Recommendations

One of the benefits of shopping a physical store is that you are able to ask questions to shop assistants on your clothes, and can also request recommendations and tailoring services on the spot. While there are recommendation features on Internet clothes shops, they might not always be the kinds of searches that you want to make.

Whether They Fit or Not

I always find one of the biggest disadvantages of internet clothes shopping is that you never know which size to choose as you can’t predict what will fit you. You have to take a guess and hope when they arrive they’ll fit! In a shop, you can try on one size and if it doesn’t fit you can easily pick another size in the shop and take that home with you. If something doesn’t fit you that you’ve ordered, it is definitely hassle!

Returns Issues

There can be cases where online stores do not offer returns as easily as physical shops. Delays can also occur in terms of sending back clothes and receiving money, while other online shops might have strict policies about when you can return items.

Waiting Time

While most online shops now offer next day delivery, you can still get clothes much faster by shopping in an actual store, whereby you can try on items and pick them up on the same day.

Missing Out on the Social Side of Shopping

As much as you can share clothes purchases and swap information online, you still miss out on the social side of going shopping with friends, which can make up a large amount of its appeal.


While arguably no longer as much of an issue for many people, with the vast majority of websites being secure, many people still worry over whether their credit card details and personal information will be safe when they buy clothes online.

Do you prefer shopping online or offline?


  1. For me, advantages:
    Online shopping for clothes makes sending clothes gifts to relatives and friends easy,
    Another reason why some consumer refused to buy online clothes is the risk the uncertain payment method online and the fear of being a victim of identity theft.

    1. Identity theft has definitely been a main concern for many folks. I like online for finding some limited pieces and great sales!

  2. i do like shopping online, but only those brands where i absolutely know the sizing and fit for me.

    1. Exactly! Gotta know your sizing in order to be successful.

  3. I am a bit split, I love the ease of shopping on line when I know the fit is right for me. I love ASOS for their next day delivery service and ease of returns. But I also think the experience of shopping is a fun one. Whether on my own or with friends, it's fun and online shopping isn't quite the same!

    1. Shopping isn't as fun to me as it used to be. Definitely don't fit "off the rack" except for tops maybe. I also like getting deliveries :)

  4. Such an interesting post Kim! I definitely use a combination of the two. For example, I often like to look up something online to read reviews or see how someone is wearing it before I go into the store and try it on myself. I like that there is more stock and good sales online, although I feel like certain stores actually offer the better discount when you buy in in-stores rather than online. I love when you're able to snag that hard to find item online, but I'm so impatient and want my purchases here now! In New York, I feel like it can sometimes be a pain to shop in stores because of crowds and such, but I also have the hardest time getting packages at my apartment, so that's a pain too! Hahaha- so I guess I come out 50/50?

    1. haha difficulties getting packages?! I would die! I love getting packages in the mail :)

      I think most people are 50/50


  5. It is nice collection of clothes store online fashion brand and designer website that offers women, men the ability to purchase fashion and trendy dresses.

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  6. I always go for the shopping portals of cloths which offers cash on delivery options so that I can order the products without any worry of quality.

    1 deal a day


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