Actually, everybody buys clothes; it’s a fact of life…. Many Poles buy online, but for most a visit to a high street shop is still indispensable. The possibility of trying on products, or at least touching them before a purchase, still seems to be a priority.

In a brand-name shop

According to consumer research conducted by PMR for their report, ‘’Retail sales of clothes and shoes in Poland,” nine out of ten adult inhabitants bought clothes in 2016. Respondents (60%) usually bought clothing in branded shops located in shopping centres. Comparing the results to previous years, it was noticeable that the percentage of people purchasing clothes mainly in brand-name shops has risen (from 51% in 2015 to 57% in the present edition of the research). Poles also buy clothes in non-branded clothes shops – about 26% of respondents in the research. Just a few years ago the most popular places for buying clothes were local markets – there was not much variety, but they were cheap, and this was the decisive criterion when it came to choosing where to buy clothes. It is worth mentioning that street markets and stalls are mostly visited by elderly people who have fixed shopping habits and do not identify themselves with the world of modern shopping in shopping centres or online. About 19% of the respondents bought clothes on street markets. A similar percentage – 19% – bought clothes via the Internet. Poles willingly choose branded shops that are not situated in shopping centres (17%), sports shops (15%) as well as in supermarkets, during everyday shopping (13%). This trend has been spotted by clothes manufacturers, who have now introduced their products to these types of shops. The sale of clothes in supermarkets has been increasing for a few years and subsequent collections of clothing are popular among clients. Poles pay attention to the manufacturing quality, as well as the lower price of clothes sold in supermarkets. Consumers are also attracted by assortment, availability of clothes (there are markets in each city) and the possibility of buying fashionable clothes – markets try to follow trends and lookbooks of upcoming collections may be seen on the Internet, on posters and in advertising leaflets. It is also worth mentioning that about 11% of Poles like doing their shopping in second-hand shops.

Shopping centre in Kielce, Poland

Triumph of e-commerce

However, online-sales are developing the most dynamically. A few years ago there were mainly books and CDs among the on-line product range. Today, it’s clothes. According to data from PayU online payment system, clothes represent the highest share in electronic transactions of Poles: in the first half of 2016 its market share rose by 2%. Although the company does not give any detailed data on specific categories, it emphasizes that this segment is systematically rising. The success of clothing categories is also due to the greater openness of companies selling wide range. Clothes have been available in e-shops for a long time, but mainly as an offer from companies that sold products using online channels. Experts claim that the impulse for the growth in online clothes shopping was the offer of one of the biggest players in Europe, Zalando, which invested in a wide range of products, at affordable prices, free delivery and the possibility to return a product. Two years ago it was already the second, after Allegro, most popular website among Poles buying clothes online. Zalando profits rose at a speed of 20–30% a year. Another e-shop that was successful in the Polish market when it comes to an online model is Answear.com. Interestingly, traditional sellers did not decide to open e-shops for a long time, but one by one, such well-known brands as Zara, H&M, Reserved, House and other LPP brands, opened on-line.

Why online?

A vast range of products; the possibility to return goods for free, and attractive prices are undoubtedly the key factors determining the growth in the importance of selling clothes online. The possibility to return a product for free eliminates a very important obstacle – consumers do not have to worry that they will have to keep a product they don’t like. It also encourages them to experiment more. Customers can decide to order a few items and then return the ones that do not fit. It also matters that modern possibilities to present goods online (pictures showing the tiniest details of offered products, movies, showings by models) make more people buy clothes via the Internet – as confirmed by a Gemius report prepared by Electronic Economy Chamber eCommerce Polska in 2016, where 72% of respondents mentioned clothes as products purchased online.

Online shopping

Which shops exactly?

According to data from October 2017, Zalando, Bonprix, eObuwie, AliExpress, Orsay, 50Style and Sklepmartes were among the most visited and the fastest developing online shops in which Poles buy their clothes. Gemius/PBI research carried out by wirtualnemedia.pl showed that the favourite Poles’ online store is zalando.pl. In August 2017, the website was visited by 3,330,000 Polish Internauts (95,280,000 page views). Next shops on the list were bonprix.pl (2,250,000 users and 28,300,000 views) and eObuwie.pl (almost 2 million users and 21,500,000 views). These three websites attract together, 30% of the range among the Internet users. As far as smartphones and tablets are concerned, the AliExpress Shopping App application is the most popular as it is used by 1,500,000 Poles.

What do Poles buy online?

94% of Poles decide to buy products from home, but may use some mobile devices such as a tablet or smartphone. 50% of online shoppers declare that they shop at least once a month. They preferably do it on Monday. Poles really appreciate free delivery and decide on this option, even if it means waiting longer. And what do Poles dislike when it comes to online shopping? If they buy something, using a laptop or a PC, they mainly complain about the necessity of visiting many websites and a deluge of information, as well as the possibility of getting lost in the sea of data. Consequently, it is difficult for them to find the most important information. When they buy things, using mobile devices, they really don’t like inconvenient forms, non-responsive websites and problems with payment.

If you need to introduce to the Polish market any brand from the fashion sector, contact us and we will create a plan for such a campaign, as well as implement it.

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