An investigation of consumer motivations towards buying fashion online

  • Heidi Benjamin

Student thesis: Master of Philosophy


AbstractThe University of ManchesterHeidi BenjaminMPhil Textile Design, Fashion and ManagementAn investigation of consumer motivations towards buying fashion online, 2010Despite initial fears that clothing would not be able to be sold on the internet, Underhill (2000), sales of clothing, footwear and accessories overtook books to become the fastest growing product category in 2008, (IMRG, (Interactive Media in Retail Group) 2009). Moreover, sales levels are predicted to reach a figure of £6.1 billion by the year 2015, (Mintel, 2010a). A major player in the UK online fashion market and a serious challenger to the UK high street is the pureplay retailer (online sales only) As Seen On Screen, (ASOS). Its business model is based around offering the consumer fashions similar to those worn by celebrities. It has become a formidable force with 34,000 product lines and 700 brands, has increased revenues of 100.4% on the pervious year and reports an increase in profits up 100.2% for the year 2009, (Mintel, 2010). Whilst high street retailers struggle with recessionary times, ASOS continues to thrive. In addition, ASOS looks to change the very nature of fashion retailing as it stands by presenting an online mall experience. The aim of this research project is to investigate why consumers shop for fashion on the internet, with particular reference to ASOS. The research objectives are to review the literature on fashion shopping motivations, to identify emerging online shopping motivations and to identify any gaps in the online fashion shopping motivation literature.The research design for this study involved a quantitative method following a positivist view. The sample was selected using non-probability sampling, an experienced, judgemental method and a questionnaire was specifically designed to answer the research problem. Secondary data in the form of a literature review provided sound knowledge with which to develop the constructs to be used and hypotheses to be tested. The primary data was collected, coded and analysed using statistical methods. The findings and analysis resulted in the development of a Framework of Online Fashion Shopping Motivations and The ASOS Experience Process Model, which addressed the research question and contributed up-dated theoretical information. Moreover the results provided important managerial implications that will assist online fashion retailers to better understand their customers' motivations to shop for fashion online and will in turn enable them to offer a superior online shopping experience and thus compete more effectively in a dynamic and competitive market place.
Date of Award1 Aug 2011
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorDelia Vazquez (Supervisor)


  • Consumer motivations, online fashion shopping

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