Fashion is the largest online market in the world. Apparel, accessories, and footwear count a combined global value of $664.5 billion in 2020, representing the largest e-commerce sector in the world.
Over the next five years, annual sales are projected to reach around $1 trillion. Two main factors are driving this growth: the penetration rate of the market and the role that e-commerce is playing in retail fashion.
Geographically, consumption is leaning heavily toward China. Their 2020 sales totaled $284.3 billion, exceeding those of the following four countries combined (US, UK, Japan, and Germany).
China’s dominance is predicted to increase in the future.
The COVID-19 lockdown has had the effect of a gas pedal on the online fashion market, bringing several years of development to the industry. Kantar has measured a digital surge in fashion throughout every country in Europe, regardless of how long each country has been using this sales channel. The tendency to buy online only got stronger in the UK in 2020, with half of fashion spending in the first quarter taking place via this channel.
Online shopping offers fashion shoppers a new world of possibilities and naturally, they are looking to make the most of it. Whether it’s customized items or opening a simple interface on their mobile device, shoppers are influenced by a wide range of factors that drive them to favor online shopping.
Major trends are emerging in e-commerce in general, but they seem to be particularly strong for the fashion market. Particularly important are:
The next years may prove challenging for brands of all sizes, and marketplaces and other online platforms can provide a real lifeline for many of these brands, especially those that are newer. We are sure to see a change in consumer habits and choices after the pandemic. The time has come for brands to observe, study and rethink their business models and strategies, and to give the utmost importance to customer expectations, especially those related to the environment and sustainability.
To learn more, check out our complete industry focus on the online fashion industry!
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