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Fashion Ecommerce: 11 Essential Online Clothes Shopping Statistics

Fashion Ecommerce: 11 Essential Online Clothes Shopping Statistics


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During 2021 SaleCycle witnessed more than 71 million online conversions in the online fashion market from 150 of the world’s biggest and most prestigious fashion brands. 

Download 2022 Fashion Ecommerce Stats & Trends Report

We’ve compiled a list of online apparel shopping statistics in the online fashion market. These fashion ecommerce statistics include online fashion traffic, shopping cart abandonment, average order value stats & trends and much more.

Understanding key online fashion statistics will help you analyse your own fashion marketing performance while also being able to benchmark success of your campaigns. For example understanding peak times for online shopping and best retail months online allows for much more effective and targeted campaigns towards higher intent buying. 

Below we take a look at some key statistics in the fashion ecommerce market. 


Fashion Ecommerce Statistics in 2021/22 – A Market Overview

When it comes to Fashion Ecommerce there are clear signs – according to the data from our 2022 Fashion Ecommerce Stats & Trends Report – that the demand for clothing, accessories and other fashion items is on the rise. In fact, despite the current economic situation – including the cost of living crisis and post-pandemic ecommerce factors – it has been widely reported that although the global online fashion market was worth a huge $533 billion in 2018, it is predicted to grow to a staggering $872 billion by next year (Statista). 

Fashion purchasing has changed vastly during these times. Almost two decades on from the release of the first iPhone, mobile shopping is a standard part of fashion ecommerce models. We have seen the effects of fashion ecommerce taking place with high street closures of clothing stores including TopShop, Debenhams, Oasis and Warehouse – being taken over by better performing fashion retail sites and apps, e.g. ASOS. 

When looking at our data, it can be argued that advances in mobile technology along with a new generation of tech-savvy consumers has been playing a massive role in the world of ecommerce – particularly in fashion. This means that the world of ecommerce has more opportunities than ever before to make a significant impact on their customer base.

As well as recognising positive advances in the ongoing ecommerce climate, this report highlights both the challenges and the opportunities within the fashion sector for your current and upcoming ecommerce fashion campaigns. 


Ecommerce Fashion Industry Stats by Device – Mobile vs. Desktop

We have gathered from our reports that mobile traffic in the fashion sector is on the rise, accumulating in over half of all internet traffic. 

When we look further into these traffic numbers, we can see that all fashion categories – accessories, outerwear, loungewear and lingerie – are bought primarily via mobile devices across the board by significant amounts, making up over 69% of sales compared to desktop, with just 30% of all online sales.

fashion ecommerce sales by device

Retail faces a whole new generation of online consumers who use smartphones as their main mode of shopping. Ecommerce payment methods (or online cashless payments), along with simple one-touch functions such as adding to your ‘wishlist’ or using ‘save for later’ buttons, means that online fashion brands are getting better and better at replicating a real-life browsing experience without the hassle of leaving the home.

This, combined with the typically younger demographic of the fashion industry, means that fashion consumers are much more reliant on digital devices now more than ever, and as mobile technology becomes more advanced and accessible in 2022, we see that mobile sales produce greater numbers compared to desktop. 

Encouraging your consumers to browse and buy via desktop can be challenging in the fashion sector. When we begin to break down and analyse standard customer behaviours according to stats, it’s clear that people are more likely to purchase via desktop when the item has a higher average order value (AOV) and are more complex – in this case, clothing can be seen as more of a nonessential grade of ecommerce (compared to say, the online travel industry or homeware goods sectors where mobile vs desktop conversion rates are more in favour of desktop). 

Recognising that fashion buyers prefer mobile shopping is key, however there are certain ways to allow your customers to browse and buy via both platforms (mobile and desktop). Optimising each platform with similar functions and layouts to coordinate for a complete brand presence can help encourage more sales across the board, for a smooth and more usable customer experience. 

fashion ecommerce sales by device and category

Consumer vs. Luxury Fashion Market Buying Habits

No matter what the item or the cost, price is an important defining feature when it comes to consumer vs. luxury fashion items. With ‘basic’ or consumer goods, lower prices and discount codes – including abandoned cart discount codes – are typically emphasised, whilst higher priced products are justified with added features and/or novelties – for example, the brand of clothing or the exclusivity of an item. In other words, average order values (or AOVs) are higher or lower depending on the sector.

With these polar differences in price in the fashion sector, there are certain consumer behaviours that come into play when shopping online. Understanding these buying attitudes and customer behaviour prediction is essential to the success of any conversion effort.

As already mentioned, we recognise that sales with higher AOVs tend to be carried out via desktop due to a better viewing experience. However in the fashion sector, a new generation of consumers are more likely to complete a sale through their mobile device. 

consumer vs luxury fashion online sales by device

We have already explored how, and why, mobile phone use is becoming the preferred choice when it comes to buying fashion items online. Taking into account the numbers for this report, we can see this occurring across both the consumer and luxury fashion markets, as online sales using mobile devices in both of these sectors are significantly higher than desktop. 


However, delving deeper into each fashion sector by device, it has been found that the percentage of online sales are higher on desktop for luxury items online. We can gather that consumers buying luxury fashion items with a higher AOV are more comfortable carrying this out via desktop, like much of ecommerce dictates.


Effects of Seasonality In The Fashion Industry

November is recognised by ecommerce as the yearly peak for online shopping and sales thanks to events such as Black Friday, Singles Day and the run-up to Christmas, and we have found that this follows suit in this year’s report. 

However in the fashion industry, we expect to see peaks in sales around months (or seasons) that are appropriate for each individual item of clothing, and following seasonal releases from brand designers. 
We can see that seasonality comes into play when we look at an example of a clothing item from the report – shorts. Shorts prove popular throughout most of the year, but especially in the summer months, peaking in June with 591,380 purchased. But in December, shorts sales decreased by over 83%.

fashion ecommerce seasonality stats

According to the fashion ecommerce calendar, there was a significant spike in sales in July, after a steady increase during the summer months. Consumers are more likely to buy new clothes during this period to refresh their wardrobes for the summer months, or holiday season, especially now that we are living in a post-covid climate and activities such as socialising and travelling are back on track to being standard practice. 

This leaves October and December as the least popular months to purchase, calling for the need to remarket and push sales.

As we have found, fashion items including T-shirts, dresses, jumpers, trousers, bras and underwear are the most popular items and stay at similar sales volume throughout the year. We can consider these garments as non-seasonal, as they hold the ability to be worn throughout the year thanks to different styles and trends provided by fashion brands.

It’s important to take seasonality into consideration when determining how to organise stock levels throughout the year, and when to utilise sales in order to get rid of unwanted stock build-up. 


Online Traffic Trends In Clothes Shopping

In order to aim in the correct direction to capture as many sales as possible, ecommerce brands should firstly direct their focus on better understanding the behaviours and actions of their customers. By investigating online traffic against all of the other factors within a certain time period, including abandonment levels, we can gauge intent levels of users throughout the year. This can be utilised to get you the best conversions going forwards.

There’s a major drive in online traffic in the fashion sector at the beginning of the year, starting with January at the highest rates. This comes during and directly after typical online sales are occurring, e.g Boxing Day and Christmas clearance. Sales are also relevant here with the second highest peak occurring in November. November generally boasts the highest amount of traffic within the fashion industry thanks to Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Singles Day and Christmas the following month. Although typically popular, it’s still important that brands continue to push sales around this time period in order to compete with others in the market, to secure a wider audience.

monthly fashion trends

According to this year’s findings, Thursday is the most popular day of the week to purchase a fashion item. We can gather that when it comes to clothing and outfits, customers want to purchase their items with enough time to spare (for delivery, for example) in time for sociable events – which typically occur at the weekend. This is supported by the fact that Saturday was found to be the least popular day to purchase in the fashion sector, aiding the theory that most consumers are preoccupied.

fashion ecommerce sales by day of week

We have also found that when it comes to time of day, there is a slow gradual growth in sales throughout daylight hours, leading to the highest sales time in the evening at 8pm. This peak in sales drops off after 9pm, until the cycle of growth in sales starts again at around 2am.

fashion product sales by time of day

Looking further into behavioural patterns against the data, we can assume that sales happen later in the day due to out of work hours and/ or ‘downtime’. We can also predict that sales are occuring in the early hours of the morning thanks to mobile commerce technology, giving consumers the chance to browse and purchase with ease.

Using these predicted downtime hours and other shopping behaviours could help to coordinate marketing strategies for better ecommerce customer retention in your brand’s base, leading to a significant improvement in sales.


Online Traffic Trends – By Device

Online traffic is a highly important part to consider in your ecommerce business model across all of your brands platforms. These numbers indicate the amount of potential per device with customers returning to your site, and therefore the amount of interest surrounding it. 

We have found that out of all online traffic to fashion commerce sites this year, over 62% of all traffic occurred on mobile for consumer fashion. With a lower AOV combined with a device that provides browsing ease, it’s perhaps no wonder that this takes the vast majority of traffic. This is a key indicator for consumer fashion brands to capitalise on their mobile platforms – perhaps with exclusive ‘’in-app’’ sales to continue this positive trend. 

This is also a key indicator to finding success in selling luxury items online – brands should optimise their mobile sites to follow suit, and link desktop and mobile functions to encourage more activity. 


Fashion Industry Cart Abandonment Email Trends

Email marketing in the fashion industry has gotten much more advanced over time to increase online engagement and this is largely due to personalisation. Personalised app notifications and cart abandonment emails that remind the customer of a particular item of interest or an incomplete checkout – including images of the desired item – are becoming the norm. We can only predict that these techniques will advance over time, so it is vital to harness these tactics as part of your standard fashion ecommerce strategy whether you’re in the consumer or luxury sector. 

According to this year’s report, luxury fashion has a much higher email open rate and click rate. We can gather that this is because luxury brands tend to focus on much more personalised marketing tactics in order to secure that large sale. When consumers see their name (for example) connected to an exclusive or expensive item, they are more likely to investigate and open the email.

cart abandonment email trends

However when it comes to consumer fashion, we can see that customers are more likely to convert, meaning they are more likely to commit to completing their customer journey by carrying out a sale. 


We are aware that this sector in fashion tends to offer more discounts and sale opportunities to attempt to gain more sales for a higher AOV. Customers are highly likely to take advantage of these sales opportunities, especially when a ‘’Limited Offer” or “Flash Sale” narrative is used to create a sense of urgency.


Fashion Ecommerce Statistics: Key Takeaways

In 2022, it has been made clear that mobile technology in fashion ecommerce reigns supreme across all sectors and regions, telling us that we’re quite literally taking our individual ecommerce journey into our own hands with more efficiency. 

Notifications and emails are more accessible using this mode of technology, making sales periods much more popularised. Leading on from this, we have learned that the fashion sector follows standard ecommerce sales trends as we see peaks in numbers around the summer months and during popular winter sales periods (November-December), thanks to public holidays. This is also thanks to seasonality trends in fashion, encouraging consumers to revive their wardrobes at certain times of the year.


This seasonality concept can be better utilised this year, and in the years ahead, thanks to the end of the pandemic. We have found that more outerwear/ socialising items of clothing are being sold again, seeing an end to restrictive buying habits. In last year’s report, we saw sales in loungewear and masks peak due to the needs of a pandemic lifestyle setting. This year, we see outerwear sales picking up as the demand for items to socialise becomes normal again.


How To Use Fashion Ecommerce Statistics  

Online fashion retail trends and statistics make for an important platform to analyse your marketing and conversion rate optimisation plans. 

For example, online fashion trends in 2019, 2020 and 2022 may change with advancements in technology, customer’s buying habits and user behaviour may also change and have shifted due to the impact of the global pandemic. This is why it’s always a good idea to analyse your industry data and compare fashion trends. 

One of the most significant changes in recent years has been the shift from the high street to online and then from desktop to mobile. In a previous SaleCycle ecommerce report we highlighted that mobile-add-to-cart rates were high on mobile compared to the actual conversion rates. However conversion rates on mobile are certainly improving. 


Global Fashion Ecommerce Market

According to Statista, the global online fashion market was worth $533 billion in 2018, and is predicted to grow to $872bn by 2023. This is a clear sign that the demand for clothing and footwear is on an upward trend across the world and the online fashion market size is growing.

Womenswear was the best selling apparel in the ecommerce fashion market with the US alone accounting for $187 billion with $86 billion in menswear. Sportswear is valued at $353.5 billion worldwide. Sportswear has seen a very high level of growth recently. The pandemic has changed customer’s buying habits and daily lives. We explore how coronavirus has affected ecommerce in a recent article.

share of traffic and sales by device in fashion ecommerce

Fashion and SEO

The PI Datametrics UK fashion market leaders report shows Next has the highest ‘share of voice’ meaning it is the most visible website in organic search results for fashion keywords.

ASOS has taken over Debenhams in the last 12 months to take second place with retail giant Amazon taking 5th place in the table.

 

fashion retailers share of voice

In the US, Amazon dominates the search results commanding 11.40% share of voice. Macy’s comes in at second place with Wikipedia and Pinterest also appearing in the top 20. This suggests fashion websites in the US have a lot of room to grow their SEO strategies.

US fashion retailers share of voice

Online Traffic Patterns In Fashion

Each sector has a peak in online traffic, sales and activity. The fashion and apparel shopping traffic statistics show summer months and festival seasons perform well but November, around Black Friday sales, Cyber Monday, Thanksgiving and Christmas performs best. Using a browse abandonment solution is a great idea when you anticipate traffic to be high because this gives you a larger sample of data to collect, which feeds down into the rest of your marketing activity.

The seasonality of the fashion sector is a great platform to use when planning your conversion rate optimisation strategy..

online fashion traffic in 2020

Total Fashion Products Sold

Client data from SaleCycle shows November is the best performing month for online sales and converting fashion ecommerce customers. This also correlates with the majority of traffic visiting fashion websites in November. There is also a spike in online sales in May and July, which is around the summer months and festival seasons.

percentage of total fashion products sold per month

Average Order Value (AOV) In Fashion Ecommerce;

SaleCycle data from 2020/2021 shows the average order value in the fashion industry is $97.97 with luxury fashion at $272.57 and consumer fashion significantly lower at $79.70.

When we split these out by AOV by device we also notice that desktop devices have a much higher AOV than mobile in both luxury and consumer fashion. There are a suite of marketing tools to increase the average order value in the fashion industry. For example, collecting customer browsing and buying data to use cross selling in emails can increase the value of your baskets.

average order value in the fashion industry

average order value by device in fashion

Total Fashion Products Sold

Fashion websites used to enjoy the lowest abandonment rates of the sectors we monitor. However, as buying habits have changed due to COVID we notice retail cart abandonment rates are the lowest, which is perhaps down to essential buying such as groceries and pharmaceutical products.

cart abandonment rate in fashion

Key Benefits of Shopping for Clothing Online

According to a survey by Rakuten there are a selection of reasons for choosing to buy online. The most popular reason is there’s more choice. However, it is widely known that there are better deals online with promo codes, sales and generally you can look at a handful of different websites to compare prices.

 

why people buy fashion online stats

Cart Abandonment Rate by Device

The majority of online shopping sales volume and traffic comes from mobile devices. This means that the cart abandonment rate is understandably higher on mobile, but only by a small percentage.

cart abandonment rate by device

Email Marketing Conversion Rate Statistics In Fashion

The fashion industry traditionally has a solid conversion rate from email marketing. For example, fashion conversion rate has performed better than retail conversions in 2020. This is a significant statistic as we have already established retail had a lower cart abandonment rate than fashion due to the impact on buying habits from COVID.

fashion email marketing metrics

retail email marketing statistics

Cart Abandonment Rate by Device

Thanks to instant access to inboxes and optimised call the action (CTA) strategies via mobile the click rate on mobile is around 5% higher than desktop but the mobile conversion rate is very similar… Although, engagement metrics like open rate and conversion rate are similar. The intent actions of users on mobile are stronger.

mobile vs desktop email marketing

Reviewed by Brad Ward
Written by Casey Turnbull
— Updated on 26/07/2022

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