The 29 Stages Of Shopping Brits Go through When Buying

by Rowan Adams, Brightcove

Shopping for clothes is an emotional roller-coaster – with Brits going through as many as 29 different stages before finally making a purchase, a study has found. A poll of 2,000 adults revealed the process of finding something you like and then buying it involves an hour and 20 minutes of mulling things over, and getting the opinions of two other people.

Shoppers will also watch videos of celebrities or models wearing the items to see how it looks in real life before deciding whether or not to buy something. And while men are just as thorough with their shopping research, women are twice as likely to screenshot a picture of themselves in an outfit to friends, while one in 10 will send a video of themselves to a girlfriend for approval.

The stats emerged in a study by Brightcove and also found one in six shoppers are more likely to buy something if they can watch a video of it being worn or used.

“When we are shopping and parting with our hard-earned money, it can be a long time between seeing something we like and actually deciding to buy it. It’s often not as simple as just walking into a shop or going on to a website and buying the first thing you see. Technology has changed the way we shop and thanks to video and social media, it’s now easier than ever before to get the opinions of others or see clothes and accessories captured in ways other than the still images we were once used to. Video allows us to find out even more about a product before we buy it, meaning we can be completely sure that it is right for us.” Mark Blair, Brightcove 

Researchers found the first key stage of buying a new outfit is checking the website in question offers free delivery; Brits will then go on to surf several other sites before reading relevant reviews.

A savvy 34 per cent of shoppers will then hunt for money-off vouchers, in a bid to save the pennies and bag a bargain. While the fifth most popular stage of shopping involves filling the basket with clothes, with a view to returning later once a decision has been made. Three in ten shoppers will continue to compare their in-basket items with other purchases, while 22 per cent will add items to wish-lists and the same percentage will make the effort to go in-store to try clothes on.

Other common shopping stages include adding the same item but in a variation of sizes and colours to the basket, asking colleagues what they think, and emailing partners for an opinion. A fifth of shoppers will even check their bank balance before hitting the ‘buy’ button.

The study shows Brits love to watch a video before making a purchase, and for 18 per cent, a celebrity endorsement immediately makes an item feel more luxurious. Thirteen per cent expect to see a video of a product before buying it, and 23 per cent claim the production of the video definitely influences their decision to purchase.

Top 29 Stages Of Shopping

  1. Check for free delivery – 50.10%
  2. Surf several websites looking for suitable items – 41.05%
  3. Look at reviews – 38.20%
  4. Find money off voucher – 34.25%
  5. Put the item in the basket and leave it there – 32.75%
  6. Compare with other items – 27.95%
  7. Add the item to a wish-list – 22.10%
  8. Try an item seen online on in the shop – 21.65%
  9. Order an item and decide you don’t like it – 18.60%
  10. Put everything you like in your basket then deleting the ones you can’t afford – 18.60%
  11. Take a couple of items out of basket – 18.60%
  12. Generally indulge in mindless browsing – 18.30%
  13. Look at bank balance – 18.00%
  14. Buy two different sizes or styles and send back the ones you don’t like – 17.40%
  15. Put lots of items in the basket – 13.10%
  16. Look for inspiration from Instagram stories and Snapchat videos – 10.40%
  17. Add the same item but in different sizes or colours into your basket before deciding which on – 9.85%
  18. Send pictures or videos of you in the clothes to your friends for their advice – 9.50%
  19. Ask colleagues what they think – 8.70%
  20. Email your partner to ask them what they think – 8.65%
  21. Screen-shot an outfit and send to a friend or WhatsApp group to review – 8.25%
  22. Keep an item hoping to like it in the future – 8.25%
  23. Twist your screen round to show colleague(s) the item you like – 8.10%
  24. Watch fashion inspired YouTube videos – 8.05%
  25. Look at sizes and flick between two sizes because you don’t want splash out on both – 7.95%
  26. Email colleagues, friends, or relatives a link to the item to see what they think – 7.40%
  27. Click on videos to watch what the product really is like – 7.25%
  28. Order a chosen item every time I shop – 3.40%
  29. Look at the store’s Instagram page to see a lifestyle image using the item, to envisage owning it – 3.30%

The study was commissioned by Brightcove and conducted by OnePoll, with 2000 respondents responding to questions between 17 May – 21 May 2018.