May 22, 2024
UK Fashion Ecommerce

The Rise of Online Fashion Shopping in the UK

The online fashion in the UK has seen immense growth over the past decade. According to recent reports, online fashion sales now account for over 25% of total fashion sales in the country. Driven by increasing internet and smartphone penetration along with the convenience of online shopping, more and more fashion consumers are choosing to shop online rather than visiting physical stores.

Changing Consumer Behavior and Preferences

A major factor driving the booming online fashion sales has been the evolving preferences and shopping behaviors of British consumers. Younger generations especially the Millennials and Gen Z who form a sizable portion of the country’s population have fully embraced online shopping for their fashion needs.

Their busy lifestyles and on-the-go nature make doorstep delivery of items very convenient as opposed to visiting crowded stores.

Research shows almost 80% of 18-35 year olds shop online at least once a month for apparel and footwear compared to less than 50% 5 years ago. Fast delivery options, widespread availability of items and the ability to compare prices from different retailers with just a few clicks have made online shopping increasingly attractive for all age groups.

In addition, the rise of fast fashion, UK Fashion Ecommerce has created demand for new inventory more frequently which is well-served by the constant flow of new collections available on various fashion ecommerce websites.

Performance of Key Retailers

Leading the charge in capturing the booming UK fashion ecommerce opportunity are some giant multi-category retailers with strong online presences as well as dedicated online fashion stores.

Asos has emerged as the largest pure online fashion retailer in the country with annual sales exceeding £2 billion in 2018. Its target audience of 18-35 year olds and ability to consistently deliver on new trends at affordable prices has made it hugely popular.

Other top dedicated online fashion stores include Boohoo, Missguided and Nasty Gal who have also posted impressive revenue growth numbers over the past few years by quickly replenishing inventory based on sales data.

Among multi-category players, Amazon of course leads the pack. Its massive scale and variety of offerings, including an expanding range of private label fashion products have allowed it to corner a significant share estimated at over 15% of the UK online fashion.

John Lewis, Next and Marks & Spencer have strengthened their own online platforms while retailers like H&M and New Look are scaling up their web presence to keep up with the evolving landscape.

Rise of Mobile Commerce

As smartphone usage booms, mobile commerce specifically has witnessed explosive growth contributing nearly 60% of total online fashion sales in the UK. Leading fashion retailers are therefore ensuring their mobile optimized sites and apps offer the same experience as desktop to encourage on-the-go shopping.

Touchscreen friendly designs, easy account login, swift product viewing and checkout are becoming standard. Advanced capabilities like mobile payments and 1-click orders are making the entire process even simpler on small screens.

Data and Analytics Investments

With the abundance of customer purchase data and profile information now available digitally, fashion companies are leveraging advanced analytics tools to gain actionable customer insights. Capabilities around predictive modeling, customer segmentation and attribution analysis are helping optimize website experiences, product recommendations, campaigns and inventory management.

Personalized communication based on purchase history across different channels is leading to improved customer engagement and lifetime value. Businesses also gain valuable learnings around emerging trends by analyzing search queries and product view patterns. These insights allow for more agile decision making around product lines and pricing strategies.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it