Online clothing sales to overtake in-store in 2022

20 October 2023
Online clothing sales to overtake in-store in 2022

The ecommerce market has grown nearly 700% since 2011, ballooning from $680B to $5T in just a decade. According to Mirakl’s Adoption survey (2021), online marketplaces are continuing to see strong growth post COVID, after seeing a huge surge in popularity at the start of the pandemic.

More specifically, research shows that 85 percent of Gen Z consumers (born between 1996-2010) learn about new brands on social media and make regular purchases through their phone, with fashion being the #1 purchase category.


The New Normal

Arguably, the “new normal” prompted businesses and consumers to flock online to buy clothes, which only accelerated the digital transformation that was already taking place; with online sales of clothing projected to overtake in-store purchases by the end of 2022, ahead of previous expectations that it would happen in 2025.

If this materialises, Britain would be the first European country where the majority of clothing is coming from online shopping sources, followed by the Netherlands, which isn’t due to cross this threshold until 2025. The next closest markets – Germany and France – are not predicted to do so until several years after that.

The permanency of the shift to online clothes shopping is most potent among British consumers, with more than one-third (36%) stating they would stick with their changes in habits brought about by the pandemic.

While apparel brands and retailers selling on marketplaces will no doubt benefit from this moving forward, there are grave predictions for lost revenue in in-store locations. Among the four European countries analysed, the report indicated that clothing stores will lose €8 billion in total sales per year thanks to new online shopping habits that are here to stay.

But often with ecommerce growth comes complexity – adding new channels, changing business models, expanding into new regions and countries, adding more products and SKUs, looking for new warehousing and fulfilment centres etc. Hence, understanding and effecting change to the drivers of both revenue and costs is critical for any ecommerce strategy.

What should you do?

Here are some things to keep in mind when looking to scale up your ecommerce strategy:

Online marketplaces are a key part of the journey, with nine in ten shoppers saying they would search a product on a marketplace first, and 76 percent of them admitting that they have made impulse purchases via marketplaces due to the ease of purchase.

And while being present on marketplaces like La Redoute, Cdiscount, eBay, Zalando or Amazon is certainly the first step to staying competitive and gaining market share, studies reveal that payment options in multiple currencies, ease of search, and responding to queries in the local language significantly contribute to speeding up consumers’ decision-making and prompting them to increase their basket value.

These and other findings showcased and reflected the powerful global and regional industry transformations recorded in the past two years throughout the recovery from COVID-19.

Ready to accelerate your cross-border trade? Get in touch with us today. We also have a warehousing and fulfillment solution, so we can take care of local fulfilment and local returns of your products cross-border.

Sell on European Marketplaces with Arcade

Ready to accelerate your cross-border trade? Get in touch with us today. At Arcade, we can:

  • Facilitate your brand’s cross-border trade strategy in Europe and beyond
  • Leverage our relationship with European marketplaces to secure you the best commercial terms
  • Use our customer service network to respond to queries in the local language and time zone, taking the stress out of translation
  • Design appropriate, localised product listings for your business
  • Run local marketing campaigns during peak seasons and shopping events throughout the year so that you can be sure your products are reaching customers at the right time
  • Handle local fulfilment and local returns of your products, so we can do the majority of the heavy lifting for you in terms of logistics
  • Take care of compliance for you, using our existing partnerships and knowledge to ensure that you avoid any unnecessary problems with taxes, tariffs or documentation

If you’d like to find out more, feel free to get in touch at:

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