The world of online apparel retail is hardly egalitarian, and men are left holding the short end of the stick. But despite the uneven playing field, observers and online retail experts say male consumers are increasingly warming up to Web shopping—particularly the younger men’s wear aficionado. Gadget purchases are nothing new, but ordering khakis? It may be a novel venture. “I think he’s just catching up with his female counterpart, who’s been so comfortable with shopping online for years now,” says Shenan Reed, founder and managing director of Morpheus Media, a New York–based online marketing firm with clients that include LVMH and Bergdorf Goodman. “Retailers didn’t embrace the male online shopper as quickly as they did the female shopper. There was a smaller selection, and men’s fashion content was limited online as well, so it wasn’t a destination for the male clothing and accessory shopper.”
According to the exclusive DNR consumer survey, guys have many of the same rants, raves and frustrations with Internet shopping as gals do, and 20 percent of those polled say they shop online on at least a monthly basis. Speedy delivery isn’t crucial, so long as there’s an offer of free shipping. And forget trying to play Rachel Zoe by foisting unwanted styling advice on the customer: Just give him exclusive merchandise and the option to return items at a local, brick-and-mortar store should a cashmere-sweater impulse purchase backfire.
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