Online Shopping Is In Fashion

ONLINE boutiques are fast becoming the retail therapy destination for people too busy to hit the shops or wanting something the big stores don’t stock.

Estoresspecialising in everything from designer shoes to bicycles are changing shopping habits of time-poor consumers.

Award-winning online shoe store Shoes of Prey director of operations Michael Fox says Australia had been behind the US and UK in online shopping – but things are changing.”In the US and UK there was a big catalogue culture whereby people were used to ordering products by mail and have them delivered,” Mr Fox, who runs the business with his director of fashion wife Jodie, said.”And that culture easily evolved into online shopping, not just because customers were used to a similar shopping experience but because freight services were developed and competitive.”I also think that the lack of competition among the big retailers means that they aren’t forced to do anything innovative in the online space.”

The culture is changing here as more boutique brands move to Sydney’s online “high street”.

Bondi’sChappelli Cycles has been running for more than a year selling retro-style bicycles designed in Sydney.

Business partner Tom Davies said there were unique challenges to online retail – buying a bike is usually a “tactile” experience.

But detailed photos and simply having their bikes on the streets overcame some of the hurdles.

Kate Evers, who went live with fashion estore hanker.com last week, said estores like hers are distinct from big ewarehouses.”Discount warehouses often rely on leftover seasonal stock, and that can work,” she said.But her estore caters for professional women looking for high fashion but who are often time-poor and want to spend time with family at the weekend rather than run the shopping mall gauntlet.

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