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Though physical retail shops are still quite prominent and prevalent among the masses for shopping, purchasing apparel online seems to be the go-to approach for most people especially those lying in the millennial age group of 18 to 34.
An online retail store provides a more streamlined and accessible platform to shop for clothing items. These e-commerce platforms provide expansive features including alternative payment methods, shipping models and social presence for every industry.
The level of convenience that e-commerce platforms are providing is simply remarkable. For instance, if you simply Google little white dresses, you will see thousands of different products available online. Within a matter of minutes, you can end up buying the perfect dress.
However, e-commerce is changing the fashion industry one step at a time. As of now a substantial number of people would prefer shopping online instead of visiting a retail store, especially due to the dynamic features that most e-commerce platforms provide.
Let’s delve into a bit more detail on what e-commerce brands have brought into the world of fashion:
Presence of Fashion and Brand Awareness
E-commerce sites really put fashion brands and clothing categories on the sales radar. Even back in 2016, Apparel and Accessories had an astounding growth rate of 20% which numerically equates to $20.3 billion in revenue generated. As of 2018, Clothing carried the largest share (57%) for online purchases once again cementing the apparel and fashion industry in the driving seat of the e-commerce sales car.
Almost 45% of consumers will rather shop online than in physical stores and 64% of customers, including 71% women, will at least research and consult online stores before they proceed to make a purchase offline.
Due to the incredible demand for online shopping, fashion brands now have a greater chance of obtaining sound recognition among the internet community. Furthermore, thanks to platforms like Facebook and Instagram, shopping can be done with seamless convenience and you can also immediately share your experiences with friends and family.
Social networking sites put fashion into the spotlight by establishing a strong media presence. Furthermore, the rising trend of clothes and accessories has become one of the most sought out categories, especially in the UK. This is why now we have extensive advertising attempts for apparel via PPC, Facebook Ads, and other channels. While Push-notifications and mobile apps centered on fashion stores are also getting predominant.
In fact, the fashion industry is here to stay in the current digital landscape due to its vast potential. This is best reflected through numbers provided by Shopify which depict that the revenue generated within the industry will rise to $712.9 billion in 2022 from $481.2 billion in 2018. These staggering figures exonerate the incredible growth and demand for online shopping in relation to the fashion industry.
Convenience and Accessibility of Shopping
Shopping has never been this robust and swift. Now, last-moment and emergency situations can easily be defused as people can receive their items within a single day. With services like Amazon Prime, ASOS and NEXT offering same-day deliveries, there’s no need to pay an unnecessary visit when you can order right from the comfort of your home.
Furthermore, most online fashion boutiques showcase a plethora of different clothes in their catalogs, this means users can easily find matching items to create the perfect look. We all know how difficult it can be to find the right shoes to match your new top, however thanks to e-commerce websites you can find anything simply by scrolling! Yes, just some intuitive navigation and voila you have the perfect apparel item.
Since decision fatigue is one of the main contributing reasons for finalizing a deal and driving a sale via any channel, online fashion stores will generally incorporate customer feedback and user reviews on their website. This helps guide the consumer throughout the purchase cycle, ensuring a smooth transition from one stage to the other.
Smaller Brands Get a Chance
Thanks to platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce and Weebly small businesses owners can now break into the e-commerce market effectively. Even when investment and capital are concerned, crowdfunding organizations including Kickstarter, Indiegogo and RocketHub can provide a boost to any small to mid-sized potential fashion e-commerce brands. As long as your business has something unique to offer, people will invest in your enterprise.
There has been a 72% increase from 2017 when it comes to the performance evaluation of e-commerce sites of different small business organizations and this figure is expected to grow in the following year. Furthermore, an increasing number of the same e-commerce sites will also adopt multi-channel and omnichannel strategies to improve their customer service levels and in order to expand the current operations of the e-commerce platform.
All of this means, fashion retailers are becoming more prominent online and will continue to do so with the services provided for their ease.
Understanding The User Better
In lieu of creating the best possible user experience all the while gathering data, fashion brands can utilize the tech and features that only an online environment can provide. In addition to analytics services provided by Google and Facebook, other ones including Adobe Analytics and Neil Patel’s Crazy Egg are also excellent tools to understand user data like their pattern and behavior to optimize UX.
Furthermore, the evolutionary growth of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its integration in e-commerce platforms, allow user data to be better comprehended. Popular platforms like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk are always gathering data to best predict future patterns and shape the UX accordingly.
Such tools also allow brands to devise marketing strategies accordingly and target or segment the whole user-base into groups in order to maximize results by addressing these individuals in the most relevant manner.
When it’s not about evaluating the user data, it’s about listening to what the consumers have to say. A direct response from the organization’s end will enhance the relationship between buyer and seller. This is carried out via customer reviews, FAQ sections, live chat including virtual chat-bots and even direct replies from messenger services including that of Facebook.
By providing a suitable platform online for fashion retailers, industry owners now recognize the importance of e-commerce platforms. In addition to the imposing presence and brand awareness throughout the web including social media channels, a lot of services and tools are available both at the user’s disposal and on the business’ end for upping their game of analyzing user data. All of this leads to improved user experience and an innovative leap in the fashion industry which sets the e-commerce version apart from the brick-and-motor one.