As the internet brings about sweeping changes in apparel and footwear distribution, this briefing pinpoints key innovations in selling fashion online, focusing on the areas of fit and sizing, impulse buying, affordable luxury, curation and personalisation. This report also analyses the performance of fashion-focused online start-ups, as well as the inroads being made regarding omni-channel retailing, as the boundaries between in-store and online shopping become increasingly blurred.
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The inability to try before buying is the biggest barrier to further growth in apparel and footwear internet retailing, and has led to the emergence of showrooming and reverse showrooming.
With the vast majority of apparel and footwear purchases being emotionally driven, showcasing products in a compelling online environment remains crucial, particularly to facilitate impulse buying.
Online retailers are able to track each stage of the customer experience, enabling extensive data collection and customer segmentation. This has given rise to the twin trends of curation and personalisation.
The cost-effectiveness of the online channel has inspired a new generation of business models, which target the price-yet-quality conscious consumer by offering high quality products at discounted prices.
A number of successful online fashion start-ups have begun by focusing on a single category, primarily aiming to solve the issue of fit and sizing: be it with regards to bras, jeans or shoes.
Despite the stellar growth of internet retailing, it is far from replacing in-store shopping. Consumers have different motivations for choosing each channel, and the biggest opportunity lies in seamlessly connecting the two.
Mobile devices facilitate impulse buying when out and about. However, mobile internet retailing remains underpenetrated, with consumers using such devices primarily to enhance the in-store experience.