Fashion, ROPO, and More Proof in the Power of Images

We talked recently about the power of images, especially for fashion websites; we’ve posted many times here on the ROPO effect (research online, purchase offline); and we continue to keep our eyes focused on Facebook’s foray into the e-commerce realm. Now comes a study that marries these concepts in a happy, monogamous ménage à trois, albeit Brit-style.

True, we reported on this survey a few weeks back, but it’s important enough to warrant a return visit. Plus, whenever a high-priced survey confirms everything we’ve been saying for years… well, we can’t stay mum.

According to a recent GSI Commerce survey of UK adult internet users, 64 percent consult a fashion retailer’s website before making a purchase. The study also reports a gender gap in this practice, with 71 percent of women researching online before purchasing offline, compared to 52 percent of men. Clearly, as it befits fashion, the ROPO effect is thriving in the UK.

The study also reinforces the power of product images, with over 50 percent of users reporting that zoomable and rotating photos are important factors in their buying decision. Interestingly, only about a quarter of the respondents mentioned videos as a factor.

As for Facebook and other social media, if this report is any indication, Internet users have not yet caught on to Facebook as the go-to destination for product information or branding. Only about 10 percent of the respondents to the survey had ever visited a fashion brand’s Facebook or Twitter pages. Of those who did, less than 15 percent said they rely on Facebook or Twitter for exclusive content or to share content, while about half are looking for deals or competitions.