Social media has been an important touch point for brand loyalty, as nearly one in four respondents said they follow their favorite clothing brands on social media, according to Fluent's "Apparel Shopping 2015" survey.
Also, one in five respondents had signed up for email newsletters, another 17.9 percent had downloaded mobile apps, and 16 percent had signed up for mobile alerts from their favorite brands.
Mobile shopping is on the rise, especially within the realm of apparel purchases. Almost 30 percent of participants have purchased clothing on a phone and those who follow their brands on social media, get mobile alerts or downloaded mobile apps are even more likely to purchase via phone, more than 50 percent respectively.
It's no surprise, as about 50 percent of shoppers say that online consumer-generated content influences their purchasing decisions, based on a recent Bazaarvoice survey.
"The most exciting finding in the study for marketers is the number of consumers who said that they've made purchases using smartphones," said Jordan Cohen, chief marketing officer, Fluent. "Mobile shopping appears to have finally turned a corner, and brands who have adopted a 'mobile-first' approach to both their marketing and shopping experiences are beginning to see their efforts pay off."
Still, in-store remains the bulk method for clothing purchases, as 62.4 percent of women and 47.5 percent of men still do more shopping in-store over online—55 percent of respondents in total.
Price remains top of mind when it comes to apparel purchases. Price, the most important factor in purchasing, is followed by comfort and brand. Brand factors in as one in three people are more likely to shop with brands that promote corporate social responsibility.
So which brands and retailers topped the list of favorites? Old Navy and American Eagle Outfitters were at the top, followed by Forever 21, Abercrombie & Fitch, and American Apparel. Looking more specifically at age groups, shoppers ages 18 to 24 preferred Abercrombie, American Eagle and Forever 21, while those 55 to 64 favored American Apparel and Old Navy.
Finally, U.S. shoppers clearly have favorites among department store chains. JCPenney and Macy's topped the list, followed by Dillard's and Sears. Looking at gender, men preferred Dillard's, Bloomingdales and Barney's while women preferred JCPenney, Macy's and Nordstrom.
-See this Fluent report
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