As one of the largest e-commerce segments, the fashion industry's revenue will reach USD 872 billion by 2023. With an annual growth rate of 7.18%, it will reach USD 1 trillion by 2025 (Statista). From 2020-2021 alone, the average order was at USD 100 per basket (SaleCycle).
Statistics have shown meteoric growth for fashion e-commerce with skyrocketing customer demands. The rise of digital, agile and well-funded challenger brands bring steep competition to traditional market leaders. To thrive against determined competition within this booming new 'e-conomy', brands need to adapt to existing and future challenges. This means adopting digital-first strategies that will help turn problems into opportunities.
To put it simply, AR or Augmented Reality is an interactive digital feature that offers a life-like view of a virtual item that is superimposed on a real-world environment. More than a tech gimmick, it has proven to be a useful tool for online stores. Over 100 million consumers reported to have shopped with the help of AR technology (Snap Inc). With the pandemic confining buyers to their homes, trying on samples in virtual changing rooms or makeup mirrors have become an important feature in this new normal of shopping.
AR applications for fashion e-commerce are mobile, allowing customers to preview, interact with, and experience products. With the freedom to explore a variety of textures, sizes, and colours, customers gain more confidence in purchasing items. In turn, sellers are ensured of higher rates of customer satisfaction and lower rate of returns.
E-commerce has given rise to the demand for more personalised experiences. With so many new options to choose from, shoppers are likely to remain loyal to brands that offer the most relevance in terms of helpful content and connected services. This seamlessness translates into convenience, as the customer should be able to feel that the entire shopping experience is easy and hassle-free.
E-commerce offers many benefits over physical storefronts. A significant part is that online shops have a vast potential to provide a customisable, searchable, and tailored shopping experience that is especially felt in apparel shopping.
Personalization includes placing individual customers' preferences at the forefront from the browsing stage to the shipping stage. This would require constant and rigorous planning, as real-time and flexible fulfilment of customer preferences would necessitate a streamlined and high-visibility supply chain, up-to-date technological integration, and agile management that can adjust and modify according to demands quickly.
You want your customers to be able to buy your products from any country. It is also known that international shoppers spend more on any one order and have less returns than local customers. But to many customers, international shipping also mean frequent delays and unexpected charges. This leads to a general feeling of inconvenience, making it an unfavourable choice.
To offer international shipping that can actually appeal to shoppers, businesses need to work out the duties and taxes which may be borne by themselves or the customer. Having a thorough knowledge of incoterms, shipping policies, permits, and packaging best practices constitute a thoroughly planned and executed international shipping service that is crucial to customer satisfaction.
Survey has shown that 80% of consumers feel it is important for brands to be environmentally conscious (Business News Daily). In a UK research, 70% of online shoppers intend to shop from businesses with sustainable delivery and return processes (eMarketer). It is now quite clear that sustainability is not just a niche anymore, but a requirement that is gaining mainstream momentum.
Sustainability and fashion can, at first glance, seem to be incompatible, as the success of a fashion e-commerce brand relies on its ability to respond to accelerated trend cycles and maintain a high speed to market, which are bound to increase material consumption and waste generation.
Encouraging real sustainability in fashion e-commerce will mean a meticulous look into the sources of supply and supply chain management. This includes offering competencies to make the procurement of ethically sourced materials not only possible but also cost-effective.
Be it to migrate a traditional business to e-commerce or start up from scratch in the digital realm, there is always intense market competition that will only increase with time. All the points above, when done right, serve to build a brand that delivers competency and great online shopping experiences that can continue to boost sales notwithstanding any real-life disruptions, and keep the brand strong.
In the e-commerce world where price and speed matter more than anything, having an efficient and streamlined digital-minded logistics strategy will be essential to bring unnecessary costs down, ensure quick rollouts, and avoid time- or delivery-related failures, which all work to encourage customer loyalty.
As the leading logistics expert of the world's e-commerce and fashion industries, DHL:s pioneering and astute solutions are there to enable every step of the online fashion retail journey, helping clients create a winning edge that can keep up with fast-changing times and the ever-evolving zeitgeist.
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