In the last couple of years, eCommerce in fashion has had the highest rates of growth at 54%. Currently, many shops are closed due to the global pandemic, making online shopping crucial in keeping stores open and thriving despite forced closure.
Despite the difficulty in selling merchandise many fashion brands have experienced, COVID-19 has shown us just how valuable and important eCommerce in the fashion industry can be.
The online fashion market will grow to one trillion dollars by 2025.
Not only is online shopping a safe, reliable, and easy option, it is a profitable one, and something that has a bright future, especially in the fashion industry. In fact, CommonThread predicts that the online fashion market will grow to one trillion dollars by 2025.
There is no doubt that eCommerce will play a significant role in the future of the fashion industry. Here are the biggest innovations and trends we expect to see on the online fashion market:
One of the most important factors appearing in online shopping is the new technology which makes the customers’ experiences better and easier. Right now, many brands are changing their initial computer based stores to be compatible for any device – this includes creating apps and cleaner layouts for smaller screens e.g. on smartphones.
According to Oberlo, 56% of customers use their phones to browse products, even while sitting at home. Due to this trend, brands who have previously tended to be more desktop oriented, are making their websites accessible on smartphones as well as other devices.
We are also experiencing a trend in virtual shopping assistants. Tools like chatbots which customers can use to answer their questions are already dominating online shopping experiences.
Voice technology simplifies the process even more than chatbots do and online shops are structuring their webpages to give their customers access to this innovation.
Moreover, 60% of customers prefer to use chatbots as they make an experience easier and are always available to answer questions. A switch to voice technology is also on the horizon with “one in five people making a voice-driven purchase”. Voice technology simplifies the process even more than chatbots do and online shops are structuring their webpages to give their customers access to this innovation.
One of the biggest difficulties customers have while online shopping is trying to figure out what will fit their body type and what will not. Not being able to try on a product before purchasing means that the customer is more likely to be unhappy with the product.
In fact, 56% of clothing is returned, 37% of this due to the customer not liking the item. However, with technology like augmented reality and virtual reality, online stores are getting around this problem. Using either AR or VR, customers can now “try” clothes on from the comfort of their own home or check to see if a certain item will fit their body type.
Increase in Use of Online Stores
According to Yieldify, 41% of the customers that responded say that they are using online shopping for items they would usually buy in person. Especially in the current situation, online stores have made shopping easier and more accessible to people all around the world.
With this current trend, we expect to see an increase in online shopping as well as more stores moving to online platforms. Moreover, according to Launch Metrics, almost 50% of millennials would prefer shopping on their devices rather than in a store!
Tools Specifically for eCommerce Appearing
Over the last few years, there have been different tools launched to make online shopping (or selling) easier for both the customer and the merchant. For example, the online extension Shoptagr, makes a customer’s experience easier and keeps everything in one place. This handy tool allows customers to save clothing that they like from different websites in one place and it will notify you if the item is on sale.
On the merchant side, Shopify has become a huge platform for eCommerce. This platform helps other brands launch online stores and interact with their customers over the internet. It is quick and easy to use and makes creating an online store extremely accessible to less tech oriented store owners. They have plenty of tools that aid online shops in creating wonderful platforms and a good shopping experience for customers.
Sustainable shopping has become a huge trend in the last couple of years and it is an important factor in many customers’ shopping experience as well as how customers may choose which brands and products to give their business too.
When it comes to online shopping, of course the question of whether or not the actual product is sustainable is important, however, it now must also include whether or not the shipping and the packaging are sustainable as well. For example, 39% of young adult customers pay close attention to whether or not the packaging is eco-friendly.
When it comes to sustainability and online shopping, the most important and the most relevant factors now must include the impact that shipping can have on the environment.
When it comes to sustainability and online shopping, the most important and the most relevant factors now must include the impact that shipping can have on the environment. To get on top of this trend, we can expect an increase in reusable and recycled packaging as well as sustainable ways to ship, for example, paying carbon offset fees.
India, China, Russia and South Africa are predicted to have a huge impact on eCommerce in fashion.
According to Oberlo, there will be an increase of three billion buyers from four emerging markets (India, China, Russia, and South Africa). These four markets are predicted to have a huge impact on eCommerce in fashion.
20% of sales will come from buyers in these markets, making lots of new business for online stores. New brands and products will also be created through these markets, leading to localized merchandise to communities that other brands may not be able to reach.
Social media is one of the most crucial aspects to people’s lives today. It is constantly being used to share things, connect with people, and now, to advertise and sell. According to Marcus Marandiz, in the future, websites will become less relevant and social media platforms will be extremely important for buying and selling products.
Not only is social media becoming easier, especially for the younger generations to buy on, but it is increasingly becoming a great place to sell too. Right now, 25% of all eCommerce brands already use Facebook to market and sell their items.
By using social media as a way to sell items, brands can reach a larger target audience quicker, which is a huge benefit and something that a simple website may not be able to give them.
A ton of different social platforms coming out with features for retailers to sell their products online. Take Instagram for example, they released a shopping feature which lets brands tag their products and link them to their platform in order for potential consumers to have easy access and purchase their items.
How simple is it to see a picture, like an outfit, and be taken directly to a page where you can purchase that very item? This “click and buy” strategy is one that we think will take off in the future, and help expand the market to younger generations.
Finally, a huge advantage to using social media are the influencers on these platforms. Teaming up with someone who has a large audience will help your products reach them faster. By using social media as a way to sell items, brands can reach a larger target audience quicker, which is a huge benefit and something that a simple website may not be able to give them.
Personalization is a key aspect in the fashion industry.
Fashion is all about self-expression which is why tailored online shopping experiences are becoming extremely popular and important to an excellent shopping adventure.
Fashion is all about self-expression which is why tailored online shopping experiences are becoming extremely popular and important to an excellent shopping adventure. We expect platforms to move towards tailor made online shopping trips, crafting a personalized spree to the customer’s taste. Already this is happening with platforms offering customer quizzes to help them find their personal style.
Take Stitch Fix for example, they give customers a quiz at the beginning to offer them things they know they’ll like. Using this method allows brands to give customers what they want quicker and customers give brands what they want quicker – their business.
Rakuten launched a similar strategy, but this time focusing on the customer’s unique body shape with their “Fits Me” campaign. This helped customers find the perfect items to suit their body.
By focusing on the customer’s preferences, body type, and history, online shopping can be even easier than going to an actual store. These tailor made and unique experiences are what will attract customers to eCommerce and make it hard for in-person shopping to compete with.
eCommerce has a bright future ahead. With a lot of new and innovative tools, it will become a crucial part of the fashion industry. While in person shopping may have the benefit of trying products out before purchasing, technology is making heading online fun, easy, and even, in some cases, preferable.
Ultimately in the next couple of years we will see an influx of brands moving online, using new fashion oriented technology, and focusing their marketing power on personalization. By focusing on the future of eCommerce, brands will have access to all the internet has to offer, which has proven itself to be one of the most crucial factors in a successful business.
Co-authored by Quinn Donovan.