Window Shopping Takes on New Meaning with Puget Sound Residents

Clothing Retailers Can Leverage Online Presence to Increase In Store Traffic

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Seattle, WA – Online clothing retail is growing, and local stores are feeling the hit. Nordstrom brick and mortar sales in the 4th quarter of last year dropped 3.3% while online sales increased by 30%1. Figures like these can be alarming, but clothing retailers without a strong online presence shouldn’t board their windows up just yet. According to a recent study by Ipsos MarketQuest, a Bellevue Market Research firm, a large number of Pacific Northwest consumers still go to clothing stores not just to buy but also to browse.

Only 11% of local consumers say shopping at the store is more convenient than shopping online, and 54% express little to no resistance to spending money online for clothes, shoes, and/or accessories they haven’t touched or tried on. Still, 47% of Pacific Northwest residents go to the store just to browse or look around at least once a month. Only 5% more (52%) say they “window shop” for clothing items online. Compare this to computers, laptops, and tablets, where the gap between online and in-store research is much greater: 24% browse online monthly, and only 10% do research at an actual store.

When it comes to purchases, more local residents seem to be buying clothes at the store. One-third (33%) of Pacific Northwest consumers who made a clothing purchase in the past six months did only at brick and mortar. On the other hand, only 15% said they only purchased online.

Still, most consumers generally do both. 52% of all Pacific Northwest consumers who’ve purchased clothing in the past six months have done so both online and at the store. So while clothing retailers without a strong online presence shouldn’t feel too discouraged, they should consider leveraging the power of the internet not just for sales but for marketing, to draw foot traffic to their stores. “If consumers aren’t on Pinterest or Polyvore or browsing fashion and designer sites, they’re seeing Nine West ads on Facebook or getting emails from the Gap,” says Nika Kabiri, Director with Ipsos MarketQuest in Seattle. “Consumers are exposed to a lot online. They use the internet to window shop, compare, and feel things out. And though they might still love trying things on and making their buy in a store, what they end up purchasing might be an item that first catches their eye on their smartphone.”

These are the findings of an Ipsos MarketQuest survey fielded from June 12 to 23, 2014. This online survey of 323 Puget Sound residents was conducted using Ipsos MarketQuest’s exclusive “Voice of the Northwest” panel – an online panel of more than 2,000 Puget Sound area citizens. Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online studies of this nature, however, an unweighted probability sample of this size, with a 100% response rate, would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 5.45 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

For more information on this news release please contact:

Mary Kaye O'Brien
Vice President
Ipsos MarketQuest

Elen Alexov
Director, Marketing Services
Ipsos in North America
(778) 373-5136

About Ipsos MarketQuest

Ipsos MarketQuest aims at understanding consumers, shoppers and markets to drive business growth. Our experts help clients to identify business opportunities, define the best positioning for their brands, allocate their marketing investments and develop winning strategies at the point of sale.

Ipsos is the only global agency with a dedicated practice in this area, under-pinned by a powerful and validated philosophy centered on deeper human motivations. Our solutions are based on simplified metrics and always linked to business outcomes, through an extensive usage of activation sessions and real-time simulations.

Visit to learn more.

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks third in the global research industry.

With offices in 86 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across six research specializations: advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, public affairs research, and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,712,4 million (2 274 M$) in 2013.

Visit to learn more about Ipsos’ offerings and capabilities.

Window Shopping Takes on New Meaning with Puget Sound Residents

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Press Release


Elen Alexov
Director, Marketing Services,
North America