Clothes: The Fastest Growing Ecommerce Market This Year

Fast Fashion and Even Faster Money

Online clothes retailing in 2012Online clothes shopping is forecast to grow faster than any other category this year according to research firm Forrester.

In another blow to traditional bricks and mortar stores, fashion and clothes shopping is all the rage in 2012.

Such items were once thought immune from the threat of online shopping as offline retailers mistakenly believed customers needed to touch and try the garments on before purchasing.

Not anymore.

According to Forrester, the US online clothes sector is expected to grow by 20% on 2012. This easily makes it the second biggest online market after consumer electronics.

ecommerce retail sales share 2012


In Australia it is even higher at 47%, as I noted in a previous post $10 Billion Australian Online Retail Market


Delighting the Customer

Much of the online success for fashion and apparel is due to the innovative and creative ways online retailers have developed to display garments online.

In other words they have managed to create a customer experience that is equal to if not better than what customers experience in the offline world.

Apart from the obvious methods such as photos, videos, good copywriting, online retailers are using virtual catwalks and fashion parades, virtual mirrors, customer reviews and social media to make shopping online an engaging and fun experience.

Plus many of them, such as Zappos, have turned customer service into an art form. Something long lamented as being in short supply in many bricks and mortar stores, especially here in Australia.


US Retailers Welcome Online Aussie Shoppers

What’s more, part of that growth in the US online apparel market is going to come from Australian shoppers who can’t find what they want on line from Australian retailers who have been embarrassingly slow to join the online party.

According to another report from CBRE, American retailers now view Australia as one of their top 10 international target markets. The web now allows them to attract the Australian consumer without the need to set up an expensive physical presence here.

Again, as noted in the earlier post, online retail in Australia is growing at nearly 30% a year, 10 times faster than offline retail at less than 3%.

Update: The Virtual Change Room. Aussie invention allows customers to try on clothes over the net.

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