2016 isn’t only the year of the monkey – it’s also set to be the year of online clothing in the UK as the digital fashion industry prepares to rise. According to Global Data, by the end of the year this sector is expected to become the UK’s largest online market.
And it won’t stop there. By 2020, it is set to account for 28.8% of UK online spend, worth over £18bn. So the question is, what changes are set to happen in the online clothing market to cause this growth? This blog will explore just that, analysing 5 major digital fashion trends that are set to arrive in the near future.
Online Fashion Trends: Our Predictions
1. Luxury Fashion to Embrace the Digital Age
For years, some luxury clothing brands have refused to enter the eCommerce world, believing that selling their products online would ruin their sense of exclusivity.
However, many of these brands are now beginning to part ways with this strategy. In 2015, global sales for women’s luxury fashion stood at a lowly 3% of the total online clothing market. And by 2018, this will reach 17%, equating to a global increase of over £8bn. The UK will be in the thick of this change with a growth of 18% between 2015 and 2018, though China will lead the way with a predicted 70% increase across the same timeframe.
2. Mcommerce Growth to Boost Online Fashion Sales
We all know how much mobile shopping has continued to grow from strength to strength as mobile usage rises and technology develops. From 2014 to 2015 alone, UK mobile shopping sales rose from £14.61bn to £20.09bn.
However, this growth is far from relenting. eMarketer has shown that by 2019, mCommerce sales will rise to a whopping £38.4bn in the UK, making up 43.7% of all eCommerce sales. And as the fashion sector boasts the largest mobile shopping market, this overall mCommerce growth will undoubtedly hugely increase mobile fashion sales.
3. Men’s Online Fashion to Keep on Growing
The female clothing market has dominated its male counterpart since the internet began. However, according to the IMRG, UK menswear sales have increased by 264% between January 2011 and December 2014 – compared to an 87% increase in womenswear sales. And this trend is set to continue.
Over the last few years, we have seen great creativity in male digital fashion marketing strategies. And it seems to be working. According to IbisWorld, between 2015 and 2020 there will be an annual average online menswear sales growth of 14.2% in the UK.
Grabble perfectly reflects this creativity. Known as the ‘Tinder-style’ mobile shopping app, users browse online male clothing from high-street retailers and swipe right for clothing they like, and left if not. With great initiatives like this, there seems no reason for online male fashion to slow up anytime soon.
4. Importance of Omni-channel Will Continue
Customers are increasingly shopping for the latest fashion items on their smartphones. However, this is not to say that these users are not also spending large amounts of their browsing time on their desktops, laptops and tablets. Quite the contrary.
According to a study by digital marketing specialist agency DigitasLBi, consumers are now using an average of 5 devices in the purchasing process, compared to 2.8 devices in 2014.
As this digital fashion trend continues, more clothing retailers will aim to provide their customers with seamless touchpoints so they can effortlessly move between devices. And those who don’t will quickly fall behind.
5. Click and Collect Will Continue to Soar
‘Click and collect’ isn’t a new concept. You can order your shopping online and pick it up at a convenient time from a range of convenient locations. However, in the coming year, this delivery service is expected to continue to soar and the fashion industry will embrace it.
With such tough competition within the online clothing market, retailers must do everything they can to accommodate their customers’ needs. And what is emerging as one of these major needs? Great delivery flexibility – exactly what click and collect offers the customer.
Amazon has set the bar by introducing a 60-minute click and collect delivery, certain to push other retailers to try and match them. As Ray Gaul, Kantar Retails’ VP of Research explains:
"… having a proper click and collect infrastructure is the big battle in the UK market right now, with Amazon drawing first blood by allowing 60 minute deliveries."
"having a proper click and collect infrastructure is the big battle in the UK market right now"
So there you have it – our 5 major predictions for the digital fashion industry. As always, the digital world is on the move, developing and keeping us on our toes as we try to stay on top of the latest trends. However, if these predictions show us anything, it is that the online fashion market is set to continue its great growth.
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