Fashion eCommerce is already a $666 billion industry as per 2020 reports. It’s expected to grow to over $1 trillion in the next 5 years.
As fashion stores and consumers navigate their way through the aftermath of the Covid-19 global pandemic, changes are inevitable. With all-new respect for our planet’s wellbeing, demand for sustainable yet affordable clothing is expected to rise. Lockdowns result over-the-top fashion events are no more because of lockdowns. Consequently, buyers get the best utility out of their choices instead of seasonal fashion.
Keeping these factors in mind, let’s look at the five vital fashion trends for 2021.
Table of Contents
Fashion Trends in eCommerce 2021
1. ReCommerce in the fashion industry
ReCommerce, a word for ‘reverse commerce,’ refers to selling previously owned new or used products. The term encompasses products from all niches, such as electronics, books, media, etc. However, in the world of fashion, it’s gaining exponential growth with time.
Since the awareness of environmental problems raises, the fashion world is moving toward a more sustainable model. Not to mention, the post-pandemic control on spending has also made consumers consider thrift-shopping.
The reCommerce fashion industry stood at $7 billion in 2019, but it’s estimate to grow 5 times bigger to a whopping $36 billion by 2024. Both in the offline and online world, the affordable and sustainable fashion seems to be the future.
88% of participants admitted in a survey that they had taken on a new thrifting hobby during the COVID-19 pandemic. 80% confirmed that there’s no prevalent stigma around buying and wearing used fashionwear. Due to uncertain finance, 79% of participants plan to cut down their clothing budget in the coming 12 months.
Moreover, the fashion resale industry’s forecasted growth dwarfs the overall growth of the fashion retail sector. With an expected growth of 500% in the next few years, while the retail sector is projected to shrink, resale looks like the fashion industry’s future.
2. Sustainable and ethical fashion
The fashion industry has been on the receiving end of endless criticisms about causing detrimental effects on the environment. Costing the environment 75lbs of carbon dioxide to make a pair of jeans, and 700 gallons of water going into the production of a single new t-shirt, it’s easily one of the most pollutive industries in the world.
Single-use outfits are the worst of them all in terms of sustainability. In 2019, a whopping 208 million pounds of waste was produced owing to their buying and subsequent disposal.
With various awareness climate change campaigns in full swing and a reborn post-pandemic sense of respect for our planet’s safety, more and more people are making sustainable fashion choices.
According to Lyst, a leading global fashion search engine, searches relating to sustainable fashion are increasing by 75% annually, with over 27,000 such searches made each month. For instance, keywords ‘vegan leather’ and ‘upcycled fashion’ increased by 69% and 42% respectively. Lyst attributes most of this increase to brands launching initiatives that support sustainable choices, become more transparent about used materials, and expand their reCommerce activities.
Fashion eCommerce sellers on Shopify can greatly capitalize on these online fashion trends by marketing products in line with the prevalent sustainability -conscious consumer mindset.
3. Gender Neutral Fashion
As we progress forwards in the internet age, there have been vast awareness campaigns for promoting a widespread understanding of gender norms and the inclusivity of non-binaries. Also, the fashion industry is quick to reflect these changes in the consumer mindset. According to Lyst, the internet has seen a 52% increase in search entries for the words ‘gender-neutral’ and ‘genderless’ fashion items.
Rob Smith, the founder of Phluid Project, said at the WWD Culture Conference held in November, that 56% of Gen Z fashion customers shop “outside their assigned gendered section”.
This is apparent through the product introduction choices of brands like Zara and H&M, who have come forward with distinct genderless collections. Tommy Hilfiger’s latest loungewear section also features pieces that mutually appear in both women’s and men’s particular sections.
For Shopify fashion e-stores, now is the best time to expand their gender-limited ranges through an inclusive movement by tapping into their audience’s needs, wants, and values.
4. Artificial intelligence: chatbots, live chat
We’re in a quickly transforming era of technology. Advancements are changing the dynamics of every single market. One of the ways it has impacted fashion eCommerce is how online customers connect with the sellers they shop from. According to a 2017 Hubspot survey, 48% of consumers prefer connecting with a company through a live chat over any other means of contact. According to Ubisend, 35% of consumers would like to see more companies use chatbots on their websites.
With over 80% of businesses expected to be using chatbots by the end of 2021 and an exponential rise in AI technologies with Facebook’s AI Research Unit ‘FAIR,’ automation technologies will be pivotal in improving customer experience moving forward.
As a Shopify fashion seller, now is the time to introduce an effective chatbot to your store to assist your visitors in navigation, suggestions, and FAQs. In many cases, an improved customer experience translates to an increased conversion rate for online stores, as demonstrated by the following studies:
- According to a 2016 Sitecore Global Consumer Mobile Research study, a positive customer experience via a website, app, or other online touchpoint generates greater brand loyalty for 76% of survey participants.
- Similarly, a study of 2,784 consumers from 9 different countries conducted by SDL, a British software firm, showed that customer experience failures can translate to a revenue loss of as high as 65%. Moreover, 64% of customers unhappy with the experience they receive will leave negative reviews, stop recommending a brand, or abandon it altogether.
5. Buy now, pay (for luxury) later
Affordability is a big factor to consider for every fashion retailer in the post-pandemic era we’re in. It’s an even bigger issue for luxury fashion brands in particular. However, there seems to be a new purchasing landscape on the horizon of the online fashion world.
Say hello to Buy Now, Pay Later. It’s a new form of purchasing that a range of fashion retailers are embedding into their infrastructure. No matter how big or small a seller is, the trend is catching on.
Under this model, customers are allowed to shop, purchase, and receive an item up front, as they finance their payment over months. Services like Afterpay, Affirm, Klarna, and Openpay are the first few names to introduce this, all of which are growing fast.
Shopify also hopes that its merchants will begin implementing such installment-based payment methods including split and micro-payment options. Firstly, there are 2 methods to enable split on Shopify: using Shopify’s split payment feature or using Shopify apps such as Split ‑ Partial Payments. Secondly, for micropayment, Shopify integrates with some popular systems such as Paypal. As Shopify sellers, this may be a great way for to bring your products into the range of more people, widening your consumer base and thus boosting your revenues.
Trendy Fashion Products to Sell on Shopify
Speaking of fashion trends, why not quickly go over the five popular fashion items on Shopify’s platform?
1. Clothing and Apparel
In the clothing niche, the digital barriers of entry are relatively low for merchants, which brings them the opportunity to fulfill orders globally. Worldwide revenue and revenue per user have been steadily growing on Shopify’s platform over the years, and the forecasts are positive for future growth as well.
The worldwide revenue from the e-commerce clothing segment is forecasted to grow from $317 billion in 2018 to as high as $475 billion by 2022.
2. Shoe Segment
Shoes constitute an important segment of the fashion eCommerce market.
In terms of market size, the revenue of eCommerce shoe segment was forecasted to increase from $96 billion in 2018 to $135 billion in 2022.
3. Accessories and Bags
The female demographic has always been dominant in many segments of the online fashion niche. The bags and accessories segment is also forecasted to see consistent growth over the years. The revenue ranges from $67 billion in 2018 to cross the $100 billion mark by 2022.
4. Jewelry and Luxury
According to a report by McKinsey, the Jewelry and Luxury segment has been growing 5 to 6 percent each year. Especially, China is the top global spender on luxury and hobby items, followed by the U.S. It’s expected that more and more consumers will shift to global brands, stealing away revenue from local shops. If so, this may be good news for online retailers.
There are many successful wristwatch sellers on Shopify, taking advantage of the low-risk, low-cost dropshipping business model. The most popular models on AliExpress can be found for as low as $2 to $7. As a result, they are easily marketable on a well-branded Shopify store for between $17 to $30.
Fashion isn’t going anywhere – it’ll continue to conquer new frontiers. However, the waves it creates are different every year with unique fashion trends. As a Shopify fashion merchant, your priority should be to ride them, and not drown under them. To do so, equipping yourself with intimate technical awareness of the latest market trends is the only way.
In this article, the fashion eCommerce trends in 2021 were covered. All that’s left is for you to implement these transitional changes in your store.
If you have any questions, please feel free to comment or contact us – we’d love to help.