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Apparel shopping on the Internet: Information availability on US apparel merchant Web sites

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Despite the rapid growth in online sales of apparel, some consumers are still reluctant to purchase clothing on the Internet. This may be due to perceptions of risk associated with the type and quantity of information on which to make their purchase decision. The purpose of this study was to explore the availability of product and customer service information and to examine Web site quality of leading US Internet apparel retailers. A content analysis of their Web sites shows that online apparel merchants are providing a large amount of basic product information traditionally provided on labels, but are not providing sensory or experiential product information useful in making purchase decisions for fashion-oriented garments. Online merchants are providing extensive customer service information. Basic Web site quality components are evident on most apparel Web sites, but entertaining and aesthetic features that can differentiate a merchant from competitors are being used sparsely.

Keywords: Apparel; Consumer Attitudes; Internet; Shopping

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2002


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