Why Some Retailers Are Still Not Selling Online?

Let’s face it, we all love to shop. Whether you appreciate the in-store experience and tranquillity of music whilst you browse for your desired items. Or if you simply prefer to shop via the click of a button, just a straightforward process with no distractions. Either way, we are all human and the consumption of goods and services are something we thoroughly enjoy indulging in.

Why Some Retailers Are Still Not Selling Online

Fast-Fashion Brand Zara – Products Purchased Online and In-Store

However, the love for the brick-and-mortar store over the years has greatly declined due to the innovation of e-commerce. From the rise of contactless payments to more recently seeing the ability to purchase at the touch of your finger tip with Apple Pay. What does technology have in store for us shopping lovers next?

Apple Pay – Online Purchasing. Why Some Fashion Retailers Are Still Not Selling Online

Apple Pay – Online Purchasing

So, we are continuously asking ourselves the question, why are some fast fashion brands not using an online-platform to sell their products? And one obvious retailer that comes to mind is Primark. So why is the fast fashion brand still deciding not to join the world of e-commerce?

Primark have kept their business-model primarily centred around their physical stores, with 320 currently worldwide. After they trialled e-commerce through Asos in 2013, they realised that this was not the right business-model for the company just after three weeks.

Fast Fashion Slow to E-Commerce

“We view value-fashion retailers as the clothing retail segment most disrupted by online,” says Anne Critchlow, an analyst at Société Générale. She noted that retailers like H&M can only be sold profitably on one platform alone, not mutually. Thus, Primark would not be able to sell both instore and online effectively to drive enough sales.

“It is difficult and damaging to a retailer’s margin to attempt to sell through both channels.” – Anne Critchlow.

Why Some Fashion Retailers Are Still Not Selling Online. e-commerce

This is due to the low-cost products that are sold by Primark, making shipping profitability problematic and not financially viable. However, they do use a website to display a selection of their products, that may be deemed ‘best sellers’. They are also present on social media platforms. These are cost-effective ways of pulling potential customers into the store.

Primark are best known for their low-cost basic products, that many individuals purchase for their everyday wardrobes. We have all been through the ‘I need a new wardrobe’ phase and Primark has always been there to sort you out with your basic tees and underwear for an affordable price. The retailer has also become predictable by replicating current trends and designer items. A recent example being the imitation of Prada’s £470 suede mules, that we have all been lusting over.

Primark’s £8 Version of The Prada Mules

Primark’s £8 Version of The Prada Mules

The prospect of walking into our local Primark store to find a fashion statement piece like these mules is truly exhilarating. Especially when we have been dreaming of owning a pair of the Prada originals for weeks, and coming to the realisation that we can’t justify paying that price. So, how can we say no to £8 Prada look-a-likes, whilst saving £462?

This is one of the most important reasons of why they do not sell online and why we do not mind taking the trip to the physical store. We thoroughly enjoy the experience and complete surprise of what statement-pieces we may come to find each season. Not to mention, the idea of being able to pick up a full outfit for the same price as one product from your other favourite high-street brand. Additionally, it is common for an over-spend to occur whilst shopping online, along-side the cost of postage. Thus, Primark is the perfect place to be financially cautious but still enjoy the shopping experience.

But, what do you think? Should Primark sell online like other fast-fashion brands?


Text: Ruby Spooner

Images: The Business of Fashion, Cosmopolitan

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2017 Irina Gorskaia

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