Fashion Online - UK - August 2013
“Returns remain a big issue for the online clothing market and retailers are experimenting with virtual fitting rooms and other sizing technology in the hope that they can help consumers to better judge whether clothes will fit and provide a solution for reducing the amount of clothes that are returned at a huge cost to the fashion industry.”
– Tamara Sender, Senior Clothing Analyst
Some questions answered in this report include:
- How is online fashion getting round the issue of not being able to try clothes on?
- How are multichannel retailers performing versus pureplayers?
- Who is falling behind in online fashion?
- Which demographics are driving growth in the online fashion market?
- What will drive growth in online fashion?
Mintel estimates that online sales of clothing and footwear will increase by 18% to reach £7.1 billion in 2013 as fashion has outperformed all other sectors to become the most popular product category bought online.
While online sales will continue to see strong growth, more than doubling over the next five years, as multichannel becomes the norm, the distinction between online and in-store will become artificial. Shopping for clothes is a truly cross-channel experience and while people are increasingly purchasing clothes online, they also use the internet to just browse, and will still go and visit bricks and mortar stores. Online and in-store therefore reinforce and complement each other. This means that the growth in fashion online will not lead to the death of the high street, but that retailers need to focus more on creating a fluid shopping experience where consumers can begin the journey online and terminate it in-store or vice versa.
Mintel defines online fashion as:
- Clothing for men, women and children, including both underwear and outerwear.
- Footwear, including shoes, boots and any other type.
The market is defined as all purchases where transactions are made through the retailer’s website, or through an auction site, rather than by other ordering methods, even if the product is viewed online prior to purchase.
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