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19 Online Apparel Industry Statistics and Trends

The online apparel industry is responsible for about one in every five sales of clothing items in the United States. It is a segment which has seen a study annual rate of growth since 2003. Americans are spending over $100 billion per year on the Internet to purchase their fashion e-commerce items.

Many of the businesses which are active in this category operate an official website for online shoppers while maintaining a direct retail sales approach at the same time. An online shopper spends an average of $3.09 per visit to a luxury apparel property, while an online shopper spends $2.47 when they visit a general apparel property. That means fashion is the vertical which generates the most revenues for e-commerce.

The value of e-commerce retail sales for clothing accessories and apparel items for stores was $7.8 billion in 2016. 57% of consumers say that they have made at least one fashion-related product purchase at some point in their life.

Interesting Online Apparel Industry Statistics

#1. Online apparel sales accounted for over 27% of all industry sales in 2017. That is up from 23.5% in 2016 and approximately 21% in 2015. (Internet Retailer Online Apparel Report)

#2. There were 266 apparel retailers on the 2018 Top 1000 list for Internet merchants. That was more than any other category for the year, and it doesn’t include brands like Amazon and Walmart, who are ranked first and third respectively. (Internet Retailer Online Apparel Report)

#3. 27% of consumers say that they like to purchase items from the apparel industry online. That is compared to the 43% who say that they shop at stores or the 30% who prefer to shop add both. (PYMNTS)

#4. The online apparel industry was responsible for roughly $480 billion in revenues in 2018. There are three key drivers which are causing the surge in sales for the segment. Markets outside of the West are beginning to have higher income levels, there is increasing online access, and innovative technologies are increasing the speed of e-commerce systems. (Fashion and Apparel Industry Report)

#5. Over $59 billion was spent through electronic shopping and mail-order house sales of fashion accessories in 2015. (Statista)

#6. Amazon is expected to have a fashion market share of 14% in the United States by the end of the year 2020. (Statista)

#7. The average consumer who shops with the online apparel industry will purchase up to five items as part of their usual order for clothing, accessories, and shoes. (Statista)

#8. Consumer say that they will pay up to $100 per order when they are wanting clothing, accessories, or shoes from the online apparel industry. (Statista)

#9. Walmart was the leading retailer for consumer shopping for apparel or shoes in the past 12 months, both online and offline, at 42%. They were followed by Amazon at 37.4%, Target at 37.3%, and then Kohl’s at 32.9%. (eMarketer)

#10. 66% of consumers say that an apparel item with plenty of positive reviews is an important factor when buying clothing online. 53% say that an item with the lowest price is an essential factor, while 51% prefer items where the manufacturer provides information that can answer questions. (eMarketer)

#11. Only 48% of consumers say that access to two-day shipping is a critical consideration when buying clothes from the online apparel industry. (eMarketer)

#12. Mobile traffic accounts for over 65% of the visitors that come to an online fashion retailer. They are also responsible for 57% of the sales that occur, which is much higher than the general retail average. (SaleCycle)

#13. American consumers prefer to visit Amazon when shopping for clothing online, even though they don’t always spend money on the website. 24% of people said that they purchased one item from the side in the past 12 months. (SaleCycle)

#14. 15% of consumers in the United States say that they never purchase clothing online. That is compared to the 6.4% who say that they do not purchase apparel items at a store. (Internet Retailer)

#15. 20% of consumers who shop with the online apparel industry say that they make a purchase at least once per week. Another 5.4% say that they buy something at least once per month. (Internet Retailer)

#16. 36% of consumers say that they check the prices which are available through the online apparel industry when they are shopping for something at a store. People in the 25-34 age demographic are the most likely to do this, with 48% admitting that they follow this habit of showrooming. (Retail Week)

#17. 33% of consumers say that they prefer shopping online for their apparel and fashion items because there are more choices available to them. 30% say they like shopping with this industry because it helps them to find a bargain. 25% say that they look for clothing items online because it is easier to find what is wanted. (Rakuten)

#18. 69% of the shopping carts in the online apparel sector are abandoned each quarter. Although this rate is high, it is lower than the 75.6% abandonment rate that all sectors experience. (SaleCycle)

#19. 40% of consumers say that they abandon their clothing purchase online because of website functionality issues. This issue is followed by the 36% say that the retailer will not deliver their product fast enough. The another 35% say that there are concerns about quality. (Rakuten)

Online Apparel Industry Trends and Analysis

Although the online apparel industry is seeing a surge of interest from consumers today, the delivery expenses for online goods is beginning to hit its margins. Many shoppers purchase multiple items with the intent to return some of them in this category. 40% of consumers say that they order this way occasionally, but 48% if households with an income of $100,000 or more use this practice regularly.

The returns experienced at the typical store traditionally hover around 8%. For the online apparel industry, the rate of return can reach as high as 30%. The value of online holiday returns was $32 billion in 2017, which was up $4 billion from the year before.

If the online apparel industry is going to experience profitability as consumer interest shifts to e-commerce solutions, then it must resolve its issue with returns. Items shipped from the Asia-Pacific region are typically too small to wear at their published size for Western consumers, while items shipped from Europe or the Americas can sometimes be too large. Consumers will need to have access to accurate measurements and tools that they can use to continue this upward revenue trend in the coming years.

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