In fashion, clothing may change, but learning about your customers is always in style. As consumers increasingly transition their shopping habits from in-store to online, brands and retailers need to find new ways to engage shoppers and stay competitive. But how is this possible when no two customers have the same purchase path?
Check out Hitwise’s US Fashion Report to learn more about how modern customers shop, how brands and retailers are adapting to meet consumer preferences, and innovative strategies that companies can leverage to drive growth.
The Driving Forces Behind Online Fashion Retail
Quite simply, fast fashion has ruled the roost in Q1/Q2 of 2018 (see chart below). Monthly online visits in this segment grew 20% each month from March through June, with shoppers likely wanting to take advantage of spring and summer offerings.
Luxury names were big players in year-end activities. Gucci enjoyed a dramatic 108% YoY boost in site visits, and one winning strategy for them was reinventing themselves to better engage Millennials. This included new product lines that are popular with that group (such as fanny packs and hoodies) and collaborations with Harlem-based designer Dapper Dan. Gucci also adapted their digital strategy towards engaging a younger audience, which led to a 55% boost in June YoY Instagram traffic.
Key Challenges in the Online Space
Amazon’s gamble on in-house labels, 70 and counting, appears to be paying off. Page views for the Clothing & Accessories category out-paced the fashion industry by 3% (Q2 vs. Q1 in 2018). Further, the total number of purchases also outgrew the top five fashion brands (11% vs. 7%).
The Fashion Report also put a spotlight on customers’ growing expectations around discounts. While the entirety of Q4 searches for sales, discounts, and promotions rose YoY, October specifically had major gains, signaling that customers want friendly pricing in other months, not just during Cyber Week or for the holidays.
Online retail also poses a double edge sword for brands – as online activity grows; exclusivity to a brand seemingly declines. The number of shoppers considering more brands in their purchase consideration set have increased drastically. This trend can be seen among top fast fashion, premium and luxury brands.
How Growth-Minded Brands Can Fight Back
The process of identifying shoppers, much like fashion itself, is forever evolving, but no matter what is trending, brands and retailers are always in a position to capitalize. Closing brick-and-mortar locations doesn’t mean shoppers care less about the products they love; it’s just that they’re preferring the online experience to get them. This report highlights the growing importance of being able to identify and target your customers, then implement strategies to separate yourself from other brands in customers’ consideration sets.
Check out our latest Fashion Report on tactics to drive online presence, and ways to make sure your brand is always in season!
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