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Home / Knowledge / News / Apparel/Garments / Brits to spend £16.2 billion on online fashion: Mintel
Brits to spend £16.2 billion on online fashion: Mintel
17
Sep '17
With London Fashion Week kicking off, the new research from Mintel reveals that this year Brits are set to spend an impressive £16.2 billion on online sales of clothing, fashion accessories and footwear - at the click of a button. In 2017, the online fashion market will increase 17.2 per cent making fashion's spot as the most popular category bought online.

Over the past five years, sales of online fashion have soared, doubling in value since 2012. What is more, online sales of fashion have increased to account for 24 per cent of total fashion-spend in 2017, up from 17 per cent in 2013. But while online fashion sales continue to show spectacular growth, overall sales of clothing are forecast to grow by just 1.3 per cent in 2017.

Highlighting the popularity of online-only retailers, Mintel research shows the importance which pure plays are having on the clothing and footwear sector, as today they account for approximately 38 per cent of the UK online fashion market.

Over the next five years, the online fashion market will continue to see strong double-digit growth, with the market forecast to increase a further 79 per cent by 2022, reaching just under £29 billion.

Tamara Sender, senior fashion analyst at Mintel, said: “The strength of the online fashion market stands out as the overall clothing market is struggling, with a continuing shift away from consumers spending their extra money on fashion items to spending more on leisure. The way consumers are shopping for clothes and shoes is changing; there is a buy-now, wear-now mentality and a desire to shop for clothes however and whenever they want, with consumers demanding convenient shopping that fits around their busy lifestyles. Usage and trust in online retailers is still growing. Many of the pure play fashion retailers are still immature businesses and have a degree of novelty value, which is helping to drive sales.”

Just under seven in 10 (66 per cent) internet users in the UK have bought fashion items online in the last 12 months, rising to four fifths (81 per cent) of Millennials. But online fashion is not only clicking with the young, as 54 per cent of over-45s have bought some of their clothing and footwear online.

Young women are increasingly shopping online for fashion, with 85 per cent of female 16-24s having purchased their garments online. And it seems it is the fast fashion pure plays that are tapping into demand from young women for constant newness, with 71 per cent opting to shop at retailers that sell frequently updated ranges. Meanwhile, women (71 per cent) are over 10 percentage points more likely than men (60 per cent) to have bought clothes online.

With only 15 per cent of online shoppers buying all of their fashion items online, the vast majority also shop for clothes and shoes in-store, highlighting the importance of having a joined-up overall shopping experience.

While over four fifths (84 per cent) of online shoppers have used a laptop/desktop to buy fashion online, the use of mobile devices is growing, with almost half (48 per cent) of Millennials* having bought fashion from their smartphone.

“The ease of purchasing via a mobile device is helping to fuel online demand. Retailers are continuing to invest in offering mobile-ready sites. As smartphones become an everyday part of life, brands should assume that their audience have a connected device at their fingertips at all times, ensuring accessibility anytime, anywhere.” Tamara adds.

Half (50 per cent) of online clothes shoppers have returned fashion items they purchased online, rising to 56 per cent of female online clothes shoppers and 60 per cent of women aged 25-44. But for some, the inconvenience of returning goods proves too much trouble, as a third (34 per cent) of online fashion shoppers overall have kept products they don’t want due to the hassle of returning them, including 41 per cent of females aged 25-44. Overall, three quarters (73 per cent) of online fashion shoppers want more return options such as collection from home or drop-off at multiple locations.

“Returns remain a big issue for the fashion sector. As sales of online fashion rise, retailers are looking to find the right balance between the costs incurred for deliveries and returns and ensuring the process is convenient and cost-effective for shoppers. Retailers can also look to make the returns process an engagement opportunity by personalising the process and offering different products and relevant promotions to encourage customers to buy alternative items.” Tamara continues.

Finally, three quarters (76 per cent) of online fashion shoppers are interested in improved delivery options rising to four fifths (80 per cent) of male shoppers aged under 45. Meanwhile, entertainment is where it’s at for the 44 per cent of online consumers who are interested in virtual reality (VR) experiences when shopping online for fashion. Showing the appeal of VR among the nation’s mums and dads, some three fifths (60 per cent) of parents of under-5s expressed an interest in virtual reality experiences when shopping online for fashion.

“As consumers have become more accustomed to shopping for fashion online, their expectations have been raised and retailers will have to invest more in the online shopping experience to drive sales. Delivery is becoming a key online battleground and the use of delivery passes and more dynamic delivery options could increase loyalty towards a specific retailer. As consumers crave experiences, retailers will also need to elevate the online shopping experience and make it more entertaining through the use of technology, such as live video on social media platforms, virtual reality and personalised customer service and stylist options,” concludes Tamara. (SV)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India


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