Personal shopping is out and virtual styling is in

Here’s why

The idea of personal shopping is being replaced by virtual styling according to new research by fashion company DV Closet. Only 15 per cent of all respondents said they had used a personal shopper in the past, while almost two in five said they now take pictures on their smartphones to get advice from friends and family.

90 per cent of consumers consider traditional personal shopping too expensive or unsuitable.

Of the 85 per cent of respondents that had never used a traditional personal shopper before, an overwhelming 90 per cent said it was because they couldn’t afford it or they couldn’t see the value in it, indicating an increasing alienation between personal shoppers and the audience they’re trying to target.

This isn’t to say the 15 per cent who have used personal shoppers before were all satisfied with their experience, either. In fact, more than a third (38 per cent) of these respondents said the cost of items proposed to them was too high and ultimately resulted in a negative styling experience. More than a quarter (26 per cent) of those in the 16 to 24-year-old category thought the stylist didn’t understand their personal preferences.

“This enlightening research is proof of an opinion shared by millions of fashion lovers the world over traditional personal styling is dead. While it may have been an exciting concept to begin with, it’s failed to keep up with the changing demands of shoppers over the years, and ultimately, it’s paid the price,” said Danae Varangis, founder and CEO of DV Closet.

The research indicates that consumers are opting for a new, tech-focused way of gaining styling advice, using smartphones and apps to gauge the opinions of friends, family and professionals.

68 per cent of all under 35s surveyed said they believe sending a picture is the best way of receiving instant feedback when trying on clothing in a shop, while over half (57 per cent) of all 16 to 24-year-olds said they would be likely or very likely to trust the fashion advice of fashion bloggers they follow an opinion shared by nearly half (49 per cent) of all 25 to 34-year-olds. Almost two thirds (59 per cent) of all 16 to 24-year-olds also said they would use a virtual styling app for fashion advice.

“The figures clearly indicate that the future of fashion is digital,” says Danae.  “The days of trawling from one shop to another and feeling self-conscious in busy dressing rooms are over, and the fashion world needs to adapt to accommodate the shifting landscape.”

The research, conducted on behalf of DV Closet by survey consultant Censuswide, polled 1,218 fashion consumers across the UK to determine their opinions on personal styling and habits around clothes shopping.

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