Fashion eCommerce – 8 Growth Trends Part 1.
8 Growth Trends in Fashion eCommerce.
The fashion industry maybe all glamour with glossy photo shoots of ‘pin perfect’ individuals modelling chic and stylish apparel. But make no mistake what you don’t see is the harsh competitive environment of Fashion eCommerce. It’s make or break for many as to whether they have the technological and financial investment to drive and maintain all that is necessary for a successful fashion eCommerce outfit. In this article we look at the main Growth Trends in Fashion eCommerce and get a glimpse of what will be the norm in the next decade.
What’s happened so far.
The sector has seen massive shifts in the last decade from device preferences, shopping experiences, shipping logistics and the convergence of global eCommerce markets. Other changes have been fuelled by consumer expectations, the demand for better online shopping experiences has driven advances in eCommerce technologies. As online retailers strive to deliver more exhilarating shopping experiences through pPersonalisation & customisation there’s no telling where it will end or how online shopping will look at the end of the next decade.
Here are the 8 Future Trends in Fashion eCommerce.
- The Evolution of ‘Fashion as a Service’
- More focus on personalised shopping experiences
- Trends in Shipping Providers
- The emergence of Social Commerce.
- New Visual Marketing Technologies
- The Asia Pacific factor
- Ethics & Sustainability
- The Amazon effect
1. The Evolution of ‘Fashion as a Service’
In a recent article we wrote about the 4P’s of Marketing and more specifically how Pricing models had changed with the advent of the digital economy. Subscription based services have now become more in demand (by millennial’s) as they are more interested soft product services like streamed TV & Movie channels. This type of pricing model also lends well to other retail sectors and in the last few years there has been a spate of popular subscription based clothing rental services. Their accessibility online is one of their greatest advantages, available 24/7 accompanied with the ease and choice of renting and returning catalogued products has made them a unique and important eCommerce fashion trend.
Here are some of the Top Brands disrupting the ‘Fashion as a Service’ Industry.
Bag Romance is an online boutique operating out of Houston, Texas providing the rental of designer handbags with an option to buy. They offer a range of luxury brands such as Chanel, Celine, Gucci, Louis Vutton, YSL. The value in this service is obvious as renting a luxury handbag brand from Bag Romance costs just 10% of the RRP price one would find in store.
Rent the Runway, founded in 2009 by Jenn Hyman & Jenny Fleiss in New York City, offers a rental subscription service for apparel, jewellery and other accessories; while also selling lingerie, shapewear products and cosmetics. It recently expanded its operation to Ireland and opened an operation in Galway employing over 150 people.
Haute Vault is rental site for high-end luxury jewellery. It offers cherished stones such as diamonds and unique jewellery pieces. Annual membership runs from $350 to $500 and some pieces for rent are worth up to $150,000.
Le Tote is another clothing rental subscription service but one that connects brands with customers on an online rental platform. It also goes one step further and offers a personal assistance for styling and collaborates with influencers and customer feedback in developing its own private label.
Urban Outfitters has just launched a subscription service, seeing the value and growing trend of the ‘shared business model’. They have launched this new service under a new image identity and brand name called Nuuly. Its focus is on delivering a new rental shopping experience for women with a wide variety of fashion lifestyle categories on a monthly subscription basis.
2. More of a focus on Personalisation and Customisation in shopping experiences.
“80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalised experiences.”
Epsilon Report Jan. 2018
Personalisation is nothing new, especially to online marketers, even older email marketing & ‘brand’ social media engagement practices would employ some sort of personalised messaging. However, in recent years this has to some degree become more saturated, less focused and harder to measure. Identifying the most important customer journey touch points is key in developing a sustainable digital strategy. The future in personalised retail is integrating new technologies alongside new strategies and channels both on and offline. The success of a personalised shopping experience depends on a sensitive balance between technology and the ‘human element’.
A fundamental starting point to a successful personalisation strategy is data and chunks of it! The way forward is being able to define and organise your customer profiles by their purchase history. Only by doing this can you start to personalise how you communicate and interact with them. Whether it be email marketing & remarketing campaigns, offline brand experiences (with human interaction) or the use of AI technologies to assist online shoppers in their buyer journey, personalisation will continue to be a major factor in winning customer loyalty.
When it comes to customisation many fashion brands are now focusing on technology to enhance the user experience and allow more control to the customer in choosing what they buy. One good example in the fashion industry is the Levi’s Tailor Shop. They named the customised experience “Finished By You”, allowing users to customise their own look denim jeans by using their online product configurator. This feature allows the user to customise their infamous denim jean style, wash, over dye, pattern and even the colour of the brand baring waist patch. As Levi’s are traditionally a ‘brick and mortar’ denim fashion icon, they have always emphasised that their each of their products are unique. Having an online product configurator has allowed them to deliver a customised experience at that level the way they had always envisaged.
Read more on how to create exhilarating shopping experiences for your customers in this article: Creating the Ultimate Online Shopping Experience.
3. Trends in Shipping Providers.
With the continual growth in Irish eCommerce, many logistical providers are pushing harder to get a larger piece of the online delivery market, offering cheaper and more efficient delivery services. In Ireland providers like An Post are dominating the online service delivery market. After a number of years of digital and business transformation An Post pivoted its main postal service to parcel and delivery to all major online merchants. With its logistical network already well setup it was an easy transition with just minor investment in bulkier mail handling. This pivot has resulted in An Post tapping into a lucrative fast growing industry and has become Ireland’s No.1 online shipping provider. With same and next day delivery options it also operates as an international carrier to most major foreign destinations through-out Europe and beyond. This year An Post also launched a parcel drop / ‘motel’ service to compete with UPS’s ‘Parcel Motel’ offering another element of convenience to Irish online shoppers.
Ireland’s Biggest Shipping Providers and Market share.
- An Post – 31%
- FastWay – 12%
- DPD – 10%
- FedEx – 7.6%
- Royal Mail – 7.5%
Trends for International Shippers
As Amazon still remains its own largest shipper and dominates total eCommerce activity on the planet, it’s very hard for smaller eCommerce operators to transfer value and efficiency in their own delivery services. Fedex earlier this year introduced a late pickup service to allow for next and (depending on geographical location) same day delivery service. A massive boost to smaller online retailers struggling to keep up with consumer demands and the ‘800 Pound Gorilla’ known as Amazon.
“77% of Irish consumers are willing to pay for same or next day delivery.”
Retail & Consumer Report 2018
4. The emergence of Social Commerce.
Social Commerce is another key trend that will shape growth in the Fashion eCommerce Industry over the next decade. As social media is a highly effective digital channel in reaching out to boost brand awareness, leveraging it as a direct sales channel is a sagacious tactic that many eCommerce brands are taking up. So with social commerce, brands can offer another more seamless shopping channel from which users can buy directly on.
No one thinks or plans about going shopping online anymore – now it’s just spontaneous!
The merging of social media and eCommerce has given a new phase in online shopping experiences. Social media has fast become the most popular medium for people to communicate and share ideas on. So having a direct link to a shopping platform enables brands to streamline the buyer journey, minimising shopping cart abandonment and also allow more exposure to user-generated content. With website analytics, social media signals are traditionally low, indicating that users don’t wish to travel further from a brand’s social media channel. Integrating social commerce creates a more frictionless buying experience for brand advocates, website payment systems can be awkward and cumbersome and that creates higher rates in shopping cart abandonment.
The Main Types of Social Commerce.
> Call to Action or ‘Buy buttons’ embedded within social media posts.
> Shoppable posts like you would see on Instagram feeds and stories.
> Ads on social media channels with redirect links to eCommerce store landing pages.
Social Commerce and Mobile.
As mobile has surpassed desktop in web user visits and interaction, social commerce is naturally designed for mobile-first usage. In the present day most brands have developed a mobile experience for their customers, along with social commerce being integrated into the social media experience it has brought brands and customers closer together, streamlining the buyer journey.
Fashion industry eCommerce has transformed dramatically in the last decade. New and exciting online fashion services are now available for those who wish to browse and rent the luxury look without having to clean out their piggybank. There’s no doubt! the world has become a smaller place with the internet, shipping service providers are under more pressure now than they ever before to keep up with shifting consumer buying pattern and expectations. Personalisation, Customisation and Social Commerce have also emerged as major stimulants in keeping customers engaged with their preferred fashion brands whilst embedding long-term loyalty through customer satisfaction.
In Part 2 we look at…
- New visual marketing technologies are shaping how we shop fashion on mobile.
- How the Asia Pacific region will shortly become the largest Fashion eCommerce market in the world with the biggest expansion opportunities!
- How Ethics and Sustainability are becoming a major influence in how Fashion Brands will market themselves for 2020.
- Finally ‘The Amazon Effect’ how the ‘800 Pound Gorilla’ influences the Fashion eCommerce Industry and what you can do to compete!
In this two-part series, we look at the main Growth Trends in Fashion eCommerce. We also get a glimpse of what will be the norm for online shopping in the next decade. Read More: 8 Growth Trends in Fashion eCommerce Part 2
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