B2C Survey about Fashion Online Shopping

This is Online Shopping
in 2018

About this Report

To analyze the retail consumption behaviour of UK shoppers, we combined Stylight internal data with reports found on Google Trends and Google Analytics, and, in addition, administered a survey of 2,000 participants. The survey was conducted in Germany, Italy, France, and the United Kingdom. There were 500 respondents from each market, and the gender ratio was 53% female and 47% male. In this report, we will focus on the consumer behaviour of shoppers living in the UK. For more detailed survey results, please contact us. This survey was conducted in November 2018.

Over 1/3 of UK respondents regularly shop online

It’s no secret that the face of retail is changing, but it’s not all doom and gloom for traditional brick-and-mortar outlets. Although numbers have definitely shifted towards e-commerce companies, demand for the in-store experience still exists. Thirty-six percent of shoppers remain loyal to in-person retail, while 31% shop equally on and offline for fashion.

The number of shoppers headed online for their purchases, however, cannot be overlooked. In 2013, 29% of surveyors responded they never shop online, this number shrunk drastically to just 6% in 2018. According to survey results, the average consumer is open to both on and offline options, with 35% of UK respondents saying they largely shop online.

46% of people shop
online at least twice a month

When asked ‘How often per month do you shop for fashion online?‘ 46% of respondents replied at least once per month. More specifically, 29% shopped 1-2 times per month, 12% did so 2-3 times, and 5% of UK respondents replied that they shop for fashion online more than three times monthly. Across Europe, UK residents were found to be some of the more recurrent online shoppers. France had the lowest frequency of monthly online buyers at 42%, Germany followed with 45%, and leave it to the Italians to be the heaviest online shoppers with 50% of Italians responding they shop for fashion online at least once a month.

Reasons why you
don’t buy online

Why aren’t Brits buying online? From fashion to electronics, groceries to plane tickets, you can purchase nearly everything in 2018 from the comfort of your home. So why wouldn’t you?

We asked people from across Europe why they’re hesitant to buy online and this is what they told us: 15% said that they’re either cash-strapped or uninterested in online shopping, another 15% replied they don’t know which online shops are reliable and which aren’t, and 7% think it’s too complicated.

prefer to see the product in person

don’t want to wait for delivery time

are hesitant to share their banking information online

Brits spend 26% less than the
average European on online shopping

You heard it right! Blame the financial instability of Brexit or rising home prices across the UK, but Brits spend, on average, 26% less than their European neighbours on online shopping each month.

Across Italy, Germany, and France, 39% of shoppers spend an average of €50 or less on online fashion per month. In comparison, a whopping 65% of UK residents spend less than £50 per month.

Thirty-seven percent of European shoppers spend, generally, between €51-100/month, whereas only 20% of Brits sit in that price bracket; and 12% of Europeans spend between €101-200/month while merely 12% in the UK do.

Online Shopping for special occasions

‘Treat yo’ Self’ kind of mood

Do you have a holiday party or wedding approaching? Across Europe, special occasions are the primary reason for people to shop online. On average, 27% of shoppers find go online to find their festive looks in the UK, France, Germany, and Italy. Brits are also in the ‘treat yo’ self’ kind of mood with 26% of people saying they shop for fashion online to spoil themselves. Sixteen percent of respondents replied they online shop for the deals, and 13% said it’s for their love of fashion.

Online shopping while lying in bed

Brits love their…

Beds! More than one-third (33%) of online shoppers say their beds are their favourite places to peruse online stores. Twenty-eight percent shop while they’re relaxing at home, 17% while at the office (don’t worry, we won’t tell), and 12% shop while they’re in the washroom… Some things we wish we didn’t know!

Only 7% of Brits find fashion
inspiration on Instagram

Surprisingly, typical inspiration platforms like Instagram (7%), Pinterest (5%), and online magazines (7%) come in last as inspiration sources for Brits. Most respondents find their fashion inspiration from a shop’s website (22%) or in brick-and-mortar stores (17%).

Fashion inspiration sources in the UK - Stylight Survey

What about Instagram influencers?

For those who chose Instagram as their source of inspiration, we asked the question:
Which profiles most influence your online shopping choices?

Instagram Screenshot brand page of Stylight


28% chose fashion brands as their primary inspiration source.

Instagram Screenshot Post on Stylight

Organic Posts – Not sponsored

21% said they only would trust an influencer if they’re sure the post hasn’t been sponsored.

Instagram Screenshot Product on Stylight


20% of survey respondents said brand or store advertising influences their purchases.

Free shipping!
Free shipping!
Free shipping!

What influences your online shopping the most?

Across-the-board, survey respondents in the UK, Germany, Italy, and France all say they’re more likely to shop at websites that offer free shipping compared to those that don’t. One-quarter (26%) say special offers like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and back-to-school sales are influential, and 19% say an easy return policy would be a deciding factor on whether or not they click the ‘Check Out’ button.


This survey was conducted in November 2018 among a sample of 2000 participants in four markets: Germany, Italy, the UK, and France. There were 500 respondents per country representative of the population. The ratio of survey participants was 47% male and 53% female between the ages of 18 and 65. All questions asked were closed questions with an option of “Other, please specify” that was also included in the results.

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    written by:

    Kayla Kuefler

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