Which fashion e-commerce trends are taking off in 2019?
In 2019, the internet is a consumer’s first stop when looking for the latest fashion. So it’s no wonder fashion e-commerce is a fertile space for game-changing trends that set the tone for other industries. And in such a crowded, competitive space, the top brands are doing everything they can to innovate and stay at the front of the pack. Now that we’re almost half way through 2019, here are some of the top fashion e-commerce trends to emerge.
The rise of experiential e-commerce
One of the biggest challenges in fashion e-commerce is the rate of returns. After all, online shoppers are tasked with finding clothes that fit even though they don’t have the opportunity to try these clothes on before buying. Online shoppers already tend to over-order to ensure they find the right size, and there’s a growing trend driven by social media to “snap and send back” whereby consumers buy simply for the purposes of posting an #OOTD (Outfit of the day) picture on Instagram, then return the item(s).
While some have taken extreme measures to tackle the latter issue, such as online fashion giant ASOS’ plan to block serial returners, there are other ways brands are innovating to fix the fit challenge.
To meet this challenge, brands are now investing in solutions such as augmented reality technology that enables shoppers to “try clothes on” in virtual fitting rooms, and fit tools that harness the power of big data to recommend the best size. Brands are also focusing on doing a better job at highlighting customer reviews, as well as surfacing fit information on product pages. These innovations are making users less reliant on brick and mortar stores and are reducing returns by up to 50% .
Fashion e-commerce gets personal
Understanding customers is the first step toward offering them the right product at the right time. With more data and tools available to understand the customer journey, brands are doing a better job of creating a shopping experience that is personal and relevant to a user’s preferences.
It’s believed that 75% of consumers prefer it when brands offer personalized messaging, offers, and experiences. In the same way that Netflix recommends shows based on past viewing habits, fashion brands are doing a better job of offering relevant clothes and accessories based on previous purchases.
Don’t have enough data to do this? Innovative fashion retailers are borrowing from the beauty industry, creating a value exchange via consultative quiz content to help visitors discover the right products for them.
Mobile becomes the standard
We live in a mobile world. With smartphones in their pockets at all times, more and more users are browsing and making purchase decisions on their phone rather than in front of a laptop. This reality is making an impact in fashion e-commerce — and it’s time for brands to keep pace.
Many brands have started to make their websites more mobile-friendly, offering optimized page layouts for easier scrolling. And while offering a good purchasing experience on mobile tends to be the hardest piece of the puzzle to get right, stores are making it easier for users by storing payment information, or integrating with payment providers so that buying that new dress you’ve had your eye on can be accomplished with just a tap of your screen. For more tips on mobile (and a few m-commerce myths debunked) check out our guide on the topic.
Instagram leads the way
Anyone interested in fashion e-commerce trends should be paying attention to Instagram. The photo-sharing social media platform is quickly becoming the central hub for branded fashion content and powerful user-generated marketing. In the fashion industry, it can be difficult to build trust. By turning to influencers, fashion brands can gain endorsements from trusted product curators who boast massive followings.
Not only that, but retailers could learn a thing or two from Instagram when it comes to shopping on mobile. The app has made the customer journey to purchase easier than ever with a native payment integration into the app.
The sharing economy extends to fashion
Services such as Airbnb and Uber leverage technology so that it’s easier and cheaper to book a place while traveling or to move from point A to point B. This ethos is now extending to the fashion industry, where the sharing economy is making it easier than ever for consumers to get expensive looks affordably, either through renting or swapping outfits.
While the idea has been around for a while, with services such as Rent-the-Runway catering to designer tastes, it’s Chinese consumers that are taking the concept mainstream. In a competitive economy, China’s post-’90s generation rents outfits to keep up with fast-changing trends. And since formalwear isn’t a key category in China, spend is focused on casual wear.
The impact on fashion e-commerce is dramatic. Brands can offer users great outfits without having to worry about wholesaling or manufacturing. Instead, they can simply focus on providing an easy-to-navigate customer experience. It’s no wonder such accessible and affordable models are taking their place among the top fashion e-commerce trends.
Fashion e-commerce trends: in conclusion
The major trends in fashion e-commerce revolve around novel solutions to enduring difficulties in the industry. By leveraging powerful technology, fashion brands are finding ways to mitigate the downsides of shopping online and are instead creating assistive, seamless experiences that inevitably lead to more conversions.
At the heart of great fashion e-commerce lies an empathy for the consumer. Understanding the journey they’re on — their goals, their preferences, their values — and then using tools to create an experience that adjusts to that journey is taking fashion e-commerce to new and exciting places.