Fast-fashion retailer River Island has pulled its plus-size range from physical stores and established it as an online-only offering. River Island says the decision is backed up by consumer buying behavior over the past 18 months, the majority of which has taken place online. The UK’s e-commerce market being poised to grow by 40% by 2022 to £240 billion provides further rationale.
However, there are several missed opportunities to signpost this change to shoppers on River Island’s site. Neither the category landing page nor individual product pages highlight that the plus size range is now an online exclusive. Even more confusing is the fact that the product pages still include links to find the items in store. Search results on several products and locations across the UK list them as out of stock.
On the plus side, River Island has made this change after investing in mobile app functionality that isn’t offered by any other brand in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Specialty Retail UK. In addition to its bag merge function, which seamlessly maintains a customer’s cart across devices, River Island simplifies check-out and fulfillment via the app. Taking advantage of an iOS-native feature to eliminate payment hurdles, the brand offers Face ID for check-out. Furthermore, as with the desktop and mobile site, app shoppers can choose a date and hour delivery window, which even indicates the most environmentally friendly delivery option.