Online Fashion Sales Bounce Back

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The impact of COVID-19 on fashion, apparel and accessories ecommerce retailers globally seems to have subsided in April, with total sales revenue rebounding on average 21 per cent higher year-over-year after a dramatic 30 per cent fall in March.

Visits are now up nine per cent on average compared to a year ago, with orders 30 per cent higher and the conversion rate rising by 12 per cent.

However, the data in the report from Nosto, the AI-Powered Commerce Experience Platform, suggests that the Average Order Value (AOV) has gone down three per cent globally and appears to be staying at a lower level. The analysis covers the USA and specific countries in Europe, as well as Australia and New Zealand.

“The data suggests that locked down shoppers are buying from online fashion stores even more than last year right now, possibly because they can’t venture out,“ said Nosto global head of marketing Matthew Levin.

“It could be that even with the closure of overall physical retail, there is enough consumer demand to continue to drive online sales –  which would be a positive indicator for ecommerce overall. Alternatively, perhaps consumers are simply being lured into making fashion purchases now through heavy discounting by retailers who are fighting to keep the sales coming in, which is pushing down average order value. If so, this would be an unsustainable tactic over the longer term.”

For this latest report, Nosto tracked the performance of retailers within fashion, apparel and accessories for a period of 50 days and across 271 merchants that represent a good cross-section of the Fashion, Apparel & Accessory industry. This performance was then compared with the same time period in 2019. The data is based on the performance of 271 merchants that use the Nosto platform in the US, UK, Germany, France, Sweden, Australia and New Zealand.

Over the whole period, the data shows that visits, orders, and total sales globally started dropping noticeably around March 7th. A significant drop was seen after March 12th that bottomed out on March 20th for many, with sales revenue down 32 per cent YoY. At this low point, visits were down 24 per cent and AOV declined by 6 per cent, while conversion rate was down by 9 per cent. Going into April, visits, sales and orders have all eclipsed where they were at during the same time last year.

On the strategies retailers can deploy to improve their website performance, Levin added: “There are a number of tactics retailers can apply to offset some of the challenges in shifting consumer demand and supply chain challenges: from organizing their category pages to surface the most relevant items for the current climate, to prioritizing inventory filtering in product recommendations and on category pages to show only in-stock items, to adjusting their messaging using dynamic content that highlights different ways to still enjoy new apparel items at home.”

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