Hit hard by the coronavirus crisis, the fashion market is experiencing a sharp decline in sales in France and internationally in 2020.
However, fashion remains the number one market on the Internet in terms of the number of buyers. In 2020, according to Fevad (Federation of e-commerce and distance selling), 51% of products and services purchased on the web are part of the clothing sector.
The share of e-commerce in the overall fashion trade represents 14.7% for a total turnover of 4 billion euros; a statistic that keeps increasing.
To learn more about the developments in the sector, and the growing importance of the web for its players, here are some key figures for the fashion market in 2020.
Until the health crisis of 2020, the fashion and clothing industry was doing well. Thus, according to the predictions of Kantar, a consulting firm specializing in market research, the global market should register an annual growth of 3.9% until 2025.
This was without counting on COVID-19 which has led to a drastic drop in sales of fashion items, all product categories combined.
In France, the positive projections therefore had to be revised downwards:
Still according to the IFM, in general, the share devoted to clothing has fallen in the overall budget of the French since the 1960s. The first impacted by this purchasing behavior are physical stores :
According to Fashion Network, Fevad announces that “fashion, which has long been one of the most ordered products on the Internet, is one of the sectors whose sales have suffered the most from the Covid crisis”.
Indeed, the figures speak volumes. In March 2020, e-commerce sales in the fashion sector declined significantly. We note that activity fell by 30% in the first week of containment and does not recover until mid-April. A statistic which suggests that fashion is not seen by the French as an essential purchase in times of crisis.
Despite the impact of the crisis on the state of the market, the fashion industry still seems to have a bright future ahead of it, especially on the web. Proof of this is with these few figures announced by Kantar Worldpanel on behalf of Fevad:
Le journal du net looks back on a study by the Xerfi group, on the fashion market in France, which dissociates the different types of online sales in France:
Click and mortar has the most weight in fashion e-commerce. Who are they ? These are the companies that combine in-store distribution and Internet sales. According to Xerfi and the IFM, in 2016 they accounted for just over 38% of online sales.
However, their turnover achieved through this rarely exceeds 10% of their annual total. For example, in sports fashion, Decathlon only achieves 4% of its turnover on the Internet in 2017 and Intersport forecasts only 5% in 2020.
Véadistes come just behind with a 35.9% share in the online fashion market. These are the brands that, in the past, only sold remotely through catalogs. Overall, they had to fight against competition from pure players and are struggling to do well. Les 3 Suisses recorded an 87% drop in turnover between 2004 and 2016. La Redoute, for on the other hand, has largely recovered thanks to its acquisition by Galeries Lafayette in 2018.
However, pure players come last in the ranking. Companies that work exclusively on the web only hold 26% of the market share.
Ranking leaders remain difficult to establish, as few companies disclose their strategy and results. The newspaper of the net proposes to give a trend based on their audiences. Here are the top 3 e-merchants :
Regarding specialized sites:
Statista, using figures from its eCommerceDB platform, has determined a top 5 fashion e-commerce sites that have achieved the highest turnover in France in recent years. It confirms the trends cited above:
Why is Veepee well ahead of the others?
Clothing sales remain subject to the household budget, as this category of expenditure would not be seen as a priority; a trend confirmed by the decline in purchases of fashion items throughout the crisis period in 2020. Sales and promotions on the web play an essential role in e-commerce sales. Indeed, according to the IFM, 58% of total sales are made on products at crossed out prices.
Millennials, otherwise known as Generation Y, are the young people born between 1984 and 1996. They are a significant segment of the clothing industry’s customers on the Internet.
According to Kantar’s study, they spend 19.5% of their total budget on this expense item. In comparison, seniors spend only 10%.
Web-based fashion transactions for young people continue to increase, with an increase of 17% in the first three months of 2019.
The top 5 fashion e-commerce sites for people under 35 are:
The other concrete characteristic of this clientele is their more volatile behavior compared to older people:
The fashion market seems to have a bright future on the Internet. Brands are more and more aware that their presence on the web is essential. On the other hand, customers, mostly young, show that this new way of consuming is already well established.