Jul 20, 2012

How catalogue shopping clicked its way ahead of the high street

In the past two decades the internet has been transformed from a novelty for technology geeks to a fundamental part of daily life – carried around in our pockets. In that time, more than £250 billion worth of goods have been bought at the click of a mouse here in the UK alone. In 2011, the average annual internet spend per online shopper was £1500, with overall UK online spending having more than doubled from only three years ago.

It’s no surprise that we have fallen in love with catalogue shopping on the internet. With the convenience of being ‘open’ 24 hours a day, and with enhanced websites that offer smart, quick search tools and better browsing options, we now have more stock at our fingertips than we could find in several shopping malls put together.

For online stores like isme, women’s clothing is by far the most popular department. Reports show that in 2011, they sold a dress or a pair of jeans every 12 seconds! Whilst other products including electricals, furniture and men’s and children’s clothing are also popular, 71% of the site’s sales are made in womenswear, indicating that the ability to search for different brands, sizes and budgets across the site is a major selling point for women nationwide.

3 tips for happy catalogue shopping

  1. Know your product

Take a good look at any visuals that will help you get a better idea of the size and quality of the product you’d like to buy. Read the product details carefully – a material that looks like cotton might be dry-clean only linen, whilst a sofa might be wider than you think. Reliable websites will give you all the dimensions you need to ensure your purchase is as expected when it arrives.

  1. Manage ‘buy now, pay later’ offers

Good websites will make it clear how much you will be paying each month. Reconcile this cost against your monthly expenditure to make sure it’s affordable, and look into interest-free periods to make the most of any deals on offer.

  1. Check delivery arrangements.

An online company is only as good as its ability to deliver your goods quickly and reliably. In addition to standard postal and next-day courier choices, investigate whether the website offers Collect+ – a really useful service that lets you collect your parcel from one of several local pick-up points, instead of waiting in all day for the post.

*This is a sponsored guest post


  1. Hmmm, this is such a different post than usual, but sure is helpful! I don't do much catalog shopping but good to know some tips if I do

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