5 eCommerce Fashion industry trends you should know before 2023


Fashion is a very competitive industry, especially in the eCommerce world. It can be very difficult to make online fashion ads stand out among many others. It's also a rapidly evolving industry. It is expected that the value of the global fashion eCommerce market will reach $744.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2022 and $1.2 trillion by 2025 (Statista).


To get the most out of your campaigns for Apparel & Accessories items, it’s worth keeping up to date with the latest fashion eCommerce trends.


In this article you can read about interesting tendencies spotten among fashion eCommerce retailers in 2022, which will help you prepare your advertising strategy for 2023. You will be able to identify in which areas your business is performing well and in which areas some work still needs to be done. The statistics come from a research of 15,000 shops operating in more than 60 countries - data collected in the Report on Feed Marketing from 2022.


  1. The Apparel sector leads in discount implementation with close to 37% of product catalogs being offered at a promotional price.


The Covid-19 pandemic is one of the main factors that caused supply chain disruptions in 2021. It then led to high inflation in 2022, which meant significant price increases for many products. 


Average prices between January 2022 and January 2021 were 7.51% higher. Many consumers were forced to re-consider their purchasing habits and possibly look for cheaper alternatives to the products they usually bought.


Online retailers had to figure out how to encourage shoppers to choose their offer out of many others. One of the most common tactics they used was implementation of product discounts. The popularity of this advertising strategy is expected to increase year on year given the current unstable market situation.


The leading sectors in terms of implementing discount strategies are Apparel & Accessories, Health & Beauty and Furniture.


Source: Feed Marketing Report 2022



In the first half of 2022, 36.98% of advertised products in the Fashion category were on sale. It’s 40% above the eCommerce industry average!


Health & Beauty and Furniture sectors put more than 32% of catalog items on sale, so these two sectors are chasing Fashion when it comes to implementing discounts.


The reason why online advertisers in these sectors discount so many items may be that there is more price sensitivity in the market (than in other sectors). Another factor is probably the intensified competition for top ad placements.


In product categories such as Business & Industrial or Media, advertisers are least likely to put their products on sale. Only 2.86% media products and 7.17% business-related items were discounted in Q1 2022. 


  1. Shoes are the most often discounted products from apparel industry


The subcategory that raised the average percentage of discounted products in the Apparel & Accessories sector was Shoes, where 42.81% of advertised products were discounted. 


Apart from shoes, the products in this category that were often put on sale by online fashion retailers were Clothing with 31.77% and Handbags & Wallet accessories with 24.08% of products offered at a lower price.


Source: Feed Marketing Report 2022



For Fashion businesses choosing to expand on their discount strategy, it is key to consider 

discounts as a double-edged sword: higher conversion potential, but a lower profit margin.

  1. The apparel sector reports 14.52% of inventory unavailable for sale


The supply chain disruptions in 2021 resulted in product shortages in warehouses. Some sectors were affected more than others.


According to a research conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit, the Apparel & Accessories sector was one of hardest impacted industries when the covid-19 pandemic hit. Nevertheless, it now appears to have regained balance in supply management, with an average of only 14.52% of product inventory out of stock.


Some other sectors are still struggling with the effects of the supply chain disruptions from 2021. In the Vehicles & Parts sector, 57.46% of all products were not available for sale in the first half of 2022. In the Sporting Goods sector, this figure was also high - 40.09%.


Source: Feed Marketing Report 2022



Taking all eCommerce industries into account, on average 16.66% of products included in advertising catalogs were out of stock in the first half of 2022.


Source: Feed Marketing Report 2022



Some eCommerce channels, including the most popular Google Shopping, automatically stop showing ads for products that go out of stock. They don’t want their users to have a bad shopping experience. 


However, some other platforms do not stop displaying ads for products that are no longer available. Therefore, it is important to make sure that your data feed contains up-to-date stock information at all times. 


  1. Fashion retailers handle 3rd largest product offering across eCommerce


Taking into account all product categories, 999 is the median number of items in an online store. 


Retailers in the Apparel & Accessories product category handle actually the 3rd largest product offering across all eCommerce sectors. A typical fashion retailer has 6454 SKUs in one shop.


The sector managing the highest number of SKUs is Vehicles & Parts with a volume of 7937 SKUs. A typical car or car parts store has 16% more product inventory than a shop in the Home & Garden sector, which ranks second with 6819 SKUs per shop on average (only slightly more than Apparel & Accessories).


Source: Feed Marketing Report 2022



Fashion online stores that handle a larger number of products, often with multiple variations of the same products, usually have greater challenges when managing product feeds. 


  • Strategic challenges in making decisions about choosing between advertising variants or only parent products.

  • Technical challenges in properly mapping out variants data (e.g. images, colors, sizes, patterns etc)


If you advertise both parent and child products, make sure to include the specific fashion product information (e.g. unique variant image, color, size) in the data feed. This way you can achieve a better query match for your ads and avoid showing duplicate ads.


When advertising fashion products on Facebook (based on users’ interest), it might be a good idea to merge size variations together to avoid showing your audience multiple copies of the product with the same image.


  1. Apparel merchants advertise on 3.1 different channels on average 


Multichannel strategy is widespread among online retailers across many eCommerce industries. The average number of channels a typical online retailer uses is 3.2


Fashion retailers promote their products on an average of 3.1 online advertising platforms, which is slightly lower than the industry average. Those who dare to expand their channel presence can reach more potential customers and increase the number of their revenue streams.



Source: Feed Marketing Report 2022



The sectors that are better at multichannel sales than Apparel & Accessories, and which occupy the podium, are Home & Garden (3.9 channels), Electronics (3.6 channels) and Furniture (3.4).


The level of multichannel presence depends also on the area of the world e-sellers operate in. Regions such as DACH, East Asia and the United Arab Emirates are leaders in multichannel expansion in advertising. This is probably because market share is more balanced in these places than elsewhere.


Source: Feed Marketing Report 2022


Top 8 ad channels most chosen among Fashion retailers


Choosing the right advertising channels for your business is not always easy. There are different types of audiences on different platforms. On Google Shopping, people usually search for very specific fashion products in a particular color and size. On the other hand, Facebook users want to be inspired by product ads and often make impulse-based purchases.


When deciding which platforms to advertise on, it's worth checking which channels are the most popular among other online retailers. Based on the research from Feed Marketing Report, we can see that the most used channel for the fashion category is Google Shopping, followed by Facebook and Pinterest.

Source: Feed Marketing Report 2022


Conclusion

The fashion industry will never be easy as the increasing competition will always be breathing down your neck. But if you are aware of the state of the fashion market, how it is changing and what behaviors are worth following, it will be much easier for you to develop a great advertising strategy for the next year and achieve the success you dream of.