How Ecommerce Is Changing The Fashion Industry

11 July 2022| Post by Jess4 minutes

AuthorJess

With ecommerce constantly evolving, we look at it’s influence on the ever-changing fashion industry!

Ecommerce is vital to the fashion industry. Whether you’re a small business or multi-national corporation, online retail is crucial for brands to stay afloat in the modern age.

It’s clear that the fashion industry has embraced ecommerce much more than any other sector. We take a look at the fast-paced nature of ecommerce and fashion and how they’ve evolved, side by side.

Modern fashion designer using ecommerce

The Pandemic

Pre-pandemic, there were a few high-flying fashion brands in the ecommerce space, with a handful opting not to participate in online retail whatsoever. However in 2020, adopting an e-commerce business model became crucial to survival.

As income from physical stores was pretty much non-existent in light of numerous lockdowns, ecommerce became a saviour. In order to retain market share, brands had to think creatively and provide avant-garde, memorable online experiences for customers. With 53% of people now preferring to shop online, it could be argued that the pandemic was the catalyst that propelled ecommerce to the forefront of the fashion industry.

Brunette Woman Clothes Shopping with Mask On

A brand that truly embraced the pandemic was British fashion giant ASOS, with sales soaring by a huge 253% between 2020 and 2021. Online personalisation, community-building, impressive online interfaces and rapid delivery services have led to the success of the brand. Elements such as wish lists, personalised product recommendations, next-day delivery, payment plans and a strong social media presence are all factors that other brands can take on board to build their ecommerce sites.

Omnichannel Ecommerce

In order to thrive in a market increasingly dictated by consumers, fashion brands must have seamless, immersive experiences both in-store and online. In a relatively new concept called omnichannel ecommerce, brands fight for market share by being consistently present on various platforms and channels. As social media increasingly utilises shopping features within their platforms, brands have a huge opportunity to drive online sales and guide users towards their ecommerce sites.

Online Shopping For Clothes

Social media platform Pinterest, recently acquired an AI-powered shopping startup and replaced the CEO with an ex-Google executive, suggesting that social media will continue to be a fundamental element of online sales. Not only that, as online retail platforms Amazon and Ebay are currently dominating global ecommerce sales, these outlets can also be a great addition to omnichannel retail strategies.

Sustainability

Naturally, sustainability is at the top of every fashion brand’s agenda these days. After a good few years of cultivating an “I want it now” culture in consumers, fashion brands are beginning to back-track after realising that their tactics may be doing more to harm the planet than they realised. In light of this, ecommerce trends are also changing. The rise of second-hand clothing ecommerce apps, demonstrates a change in consumer behaviour that favours a more sustainable approach to fashion.

Coloured Threads on Bobbins

In order to compete, mainstream fashion ecommerce stores must implement strategies to make their brands more sustainable; From designing garments that have less impact on the environment, to reducing waste, discouraging returns (to reduce C02 emissions from transportation) and reducing the amount of plastic packaging used for each order.

Additionally, there are a number of other initiatives that increase the sustainability of ecommerce sites such as the climate-positive initiative by Ecologi. With Ecologi, you can choose to plant a tree for every online sale you make or for every subscriber that signs up to your email list. Incentives like this are not only good for business, they’re good for the environment too.

Influencer Culture

Recognising the power that social media influencers have in terms of consumer purchase decisions, the fashion industry has jumped on influencer marketing over the past few years. The “I want it now” culture conjured by social media marketing tactics has pushed ecommerce to its limit. Ecommerce sites have to be extremely robust, page-speed must be optimised and online storefronts must be streamlined for conversion in order to keep up with demand.

Influencer Showing New Clothes to Camera

The Future

It’s safe to say the fashion industry has been transformed by ecommerce, and vice-versa. Technological advancements such as artificial intelligence (AI) are increasingly utilised within the fashion space, particularly for virtually trying on clothes or viewing garment sizes. Not only that, split-payments and alternative payment plans, in addition to the increase of app users, sees both the fashion and ecommerce industries continuously evolving.

With the fashion industry set to reach 2 trillion dollars in revenue by 2026, it’s clear that ecommerce will only become more integral to how the industry operates – And we’re pretty excited to see where it goes!

In need of a shiny new ecommerce site for fashion? Find out more, right here!

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