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2024 E-Commerce Trends: Effective Strategies for Selling Apparel Online

E-commerce has become a critical sales channel for companies of all sizes within the fashion industry. Small players are joining marketplaces as sellers, while larger companies are establishing their own online platforms. Furthermore, fashion brands are increasingly launching their own virtual stores. With competition intensifying, it’s essential to continuously analyze the market, monitor trends, and adjust strategies to remain competitive. Our findings encompass compelling statistics and insights on the evolution of e-fashion, alongside crucial trends and strategies for initiating a clothing sales platform.

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E-fashion Statistics

Global e-fashion revenue projected to grow from $821 billion in 2023 to $1.222 trillion by 2027, according to Statista forecasts.

Global e-fashion revenue

Several factors contribute to the ongoing expansion of the industry:

  • The global market is broadening, with substantial focus on China, India, and Southeast Asian nations.
  • Internet accessibility has significantly increased, particularly with the widespread adoption of smartphones in developing countries.
  • The proportion of the middle class is on the rise.
  • Constant emergence of new innovative technologies.
  • Low barriers to entry in the online sphere, leading to a proliferation of online stores and fashion marketplaces.

Demand for various products, including footwear, apparel, handbags, and luxury goods, is witnessing growth.

The global income dynamics across e-commerce segments indicate stable growth
The global income dynamics across e-commerce segments indicate stable growth, as reported by Statista.
Increasing proportion of clothing and footwear sales shifting online, as per Statista.
Increasing proportion of clothing and footwear sales shifting online, as per Statista.

According to the Statista report, the majority of consumers favor making their purchases from the websites of specific retailers and brands (20% of respondents). Additionally, online marketplaces are popular, with 15% of respondents indicating Amazon as their preferred platform for fashion product purchases, and another 10% choosing other marketplaces. Choosing a Niche and Platform for Your Clothing and Footwear Marketplace Launch.

Trend 1: Global Digitalization

Lately, there has been a notable shift in the technologies utilized for shopping and engaging with brands in the e-fashion realm. McKinsey’s research emphasizes the increasing significance of digitalization in the fashion industry, with a focus on enhancing user convenience. Both established and emerging brands are directing substantial investments into their online platforms, harnessing big data and e-commerce analytics to craft tailored experiences for consumers.

For instance, numerous brands employ algorithms to scrutinize customer preferences and furnish personalized recommendations built on user behavior. Moreover, certain companies are introducing virtual fitting rooms, enabling customers to visualize clothing before making a purchase through augmented reality technology.

In summary, the level of investment in digitalization has currently reached an unprecedented peak and is anticipated to continue flourishing across all industries based on various metrics.

Trend 2: A Shift Towards Sustainable Growth

An increasing number of consumers are showing a concern for the planet’s future and environmental sustainability. Brands that prioritize environmental sustainability and adopt a pro-environmental stance are gaining significant attention from consumers.

In the realm of e-fashion, this is being manifested through the implementation of environmental standards. Numerous online clothing retailers are placing greater emphasis on producing eco-friendly clothing, minimizing waste, and utilizing eco-friendly packaging. 

Adidas serves as an excellent illustration of this trend, as they utilize plastic waste to create materials for their shoes and clothing. Another case in point is Chanel, which has invested in a startup called Evolved by Nature, focused on replacing synthetic additives with environmentally friendly alternatives.

As environmental awareness grows, the demand for sustainable shopping options is on the rise. Second-hand markets offer an eco-friendly alternative to fast fashion and contribute to a circular economy. Is launching a second-hand apparel marketplace worth It? Read in the article.

Trend 3: Voice Search

As technology progresses, previously unimaginable opportunities are now becoming a reality. For instance, the ability to multitask by preparing food and shopping for clothes simultaneously, which was once considered unattainable, is now feasible due to technological advancements.

Virtual assistants are significantly impacting people’s daily routines. Nielsen reports that one in four U.S. households utilize intelligent voice assistants like Amazon Alexa or Apple Siri, which are now being employed for making purchases.

Gartner indicates that brands that tailor their online platforms for voice search can potentially boost profits by as much as 30%.

According to Voicebot.ai, voice e-commerce in the US and UK has skyrocketed since 2019
According to Voicebot.ai, voice e-commerce in the US and UK has skyrocketed since 2019

To improve the likelihood of your website appearing in search results for voice searches, adhere to these recommendations:

  • Incorporate long-tail keywords and interrogative sentences within your texts and meta tags.
  • Include a section containing frequently asked questions (FAQ).
  • Generate more conversational content.

Trend 4: Personalization

As per research conducted by SmarterHQ:

  • 80% of consumers are more inclined to buy from a brand that offers personalized experiences.
  • 90% of buyers are open to sharing their behavioral data in exchange for benefits that make shopping more affordable or convenient.
  • On average, 71% of shoppers feel frustrated when their purchases lack a personalized touch.
  • 89% of digital companies, including Coca-Cola, Netflix, Sephora, USAA, and Wells Fargo, are investing in personalization.

Personalization has the potential to reduce customer acquisition costs by 50%, increase revenue by 5-15%, and improve marketing expense efficiency by 10-30%. By analyzing user behavior on an online platform, businesses can create tailored shopping experiences for each customer. The personalization process can commence with customization of featured products but can extend well beyond that.

Consider the ASOS website as an example. When customers browse or buy men’s clothing, there is an expectation that they would be interested in related content. Upon their next visit to the site, these shoppers will encounter a personalized home page tailored to their interests.

Personalized ASOS home page
Personalized ASOS home page

Trend 5: Influencer Marketing

In e-fashion, influencer marketing is extensively utilized as a strategy to captivate the target audience by leveraging the popularity of individuals who have established followings on social networks or their own platforms. According to the 2019 Influencer Marketing Report, one in every four sponsored posts pertains to fashion. Influencers possess the ability to generate interest in specific products and engage their audience, thereby facilitating the promotion of fashion brands’ products.

The process unfolds as follows:

  1. Search and selection of influencers: Companies and brands scout for bloggers, influencers, or celebrities with an audience that aligns with the target product group.
  2. Establishing collaborations: Brands form agreements with influencers to host product-related content on their platforms.
  3. Content creation: Influencers craft varied content such as product reviews, styling, and photos or videos showcasing the brand’s products.
  4. Publishing and Promotion: The curated content is shared across influencers’ platforms, effectively capturing the attention of their audience towards the product and brand.

Trend 6: Social Media

Using social media is an effective method to advertise fashion brands, particularly those that sell products online. The consumer can place an order on the platform that is most convenient for them at the time of purchase. While in 2021-2022, the primary sales channels in e-commerce were marketplaces and proprietary online stores, by 2023, they will be supplemented by social networks, instant messengers, and classifieds sites.

Instagram is one of the best social networks for fashion brands
Instagram is one of the best social networks for fashion brands

Through social media, it is possible to build a distinctive brand and foster connections with customers. Consumers are more inclined to purchase from a brand they are familiar with and have confidence in.

Social media presents an opportunity to engage with customers by addressing their inquiries and providing assistance. This enables brands to enhance accessibility and responsiveness, potentially leading to heightened customer loyalty and sales.

Social media can be utilized for conducting surveys and gathering feedback from customers to understand their preferences and needs. This, in turn, can aid in enhancing the products and services offered by the brand.

Furthermore, social media has the capacity to amplify website traffic by drawing more individuals to the brand through advertising, compelling content, and collaboration with other brands.

Trend 7: Blogs

Blogs serve as an effective means to engage with your audience and disseminate information about your brand, company updates, and other relevant content.

They offer the opportunity to develop style guides, appraise new collections, conduct interviews with fashion experts, provide valuable tips to retain existing customers, and attract new ones as well.

ASOS blog
ASOS blog

Trend 8: Buy now, pay later

The use of buy now, pay later services for clothing purchases is gaining traction, enabling shoppers to divide their purchases into equal payments without incurring additional costs. Shoppers can easily apply for an installment plan within minutes on the website at the time of checkout.

Trend 9: Email Newsletters

Mindbox, in collaboration with Out of Cloud, conducted a study examining the influence of email campaigns on the revenue of fashion companies in 2022. The analysis involved the study of 746 million mailings from 33 companies, representing local and federal fashion brands.

The research yielded the following findings:

  • Email newsletters contributed 7 to 18% of the companies’ revenue over the year.
  • The conversion rate for mailings from large companies was 6 times higher than that of medium-sized companies, and 9.5 times higher than that of small companies.
  • The conversion rate for triggered mailings for orders was 3.5 times higher, with open and click rates being 2 times higher.
  • In 2022, the rate of unsubscribes was minimal, not exceeding 0.5%. Typically, customers unsubscribed after receiving an anticipated lucrative offer.

The integration of suitable add-ons can significantly enhance the store’s performance by introducing new features, enhancing existing ones, streamlining management, and boosting marketing effectiveness. We have curated a selection of 10 specialized add-ons tailored for clothing and shoe stores on CS-Cart. 

Key Findings

  • Embrace digitalization without fear.
  • Showcase sustainability as a priority.
  • Prioritize emerging technologies like voice search and mobile commerce.
  • Ensure all communication is personalized.
  • Consider leveraging expertise, social media, and blogging to enhance your brand image.

There is a wealth of details to delve into regarding each of these aspects, and we intend to revisit these topics in subsequent articles. Building an effective clothing sales platform demands diligence and expertise. We are committed to assisting you at every phase and simplifying the process.

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Ksenia Cheburova , Cart-Power Editor
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