Fashion outperforms all other sectors for e-retail

By Danielle Middleton topicIcon Internet News

UK online fashion sector grows 258% in five years

The IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group) Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, revealed today that the fashion sector has outperformed all other categories in online sales for four of the last five years.

The Index stated that between January 2009 and December 2013, online fashion sales have grown by almost 17 per cent year on year reaching £91bn in 2013 alone, accounting for 21 per cent of all ecommerce transactions.

Fashion at the forefront of technology

Fashion brands have been quick to catch on to the power of social media. Fashion houses and high street stores alike have been using Twitter, Instagram and Vine to preview new lines, reveal behind the scenes activities during fashion week and more recently we have seen ASOS innovatively utilise the Jelly platform.

DVF is just one example of how fashion and technology have merged. At designer Diane von Furstenberg's celebration of her iconic wrap dress at New York Fashion Week, the brand partnered with American Express Unstaged to provide card holders with a number of exclusive features.

Amex card members were able to live stream the 24 hour event, while tweeting the hashtag #amexunstaged unlocked videos from behind the scenes and interviews with Von Furstensberg herself. DVF have gained a reputation in recent years for being ahead of the fashion pack in regards to technology; DVF were the first to send Google Glass down the runway, they hosted the first Google+ Hangout and have an impressive 640,000 Twitter followers, with 350,000 on Instagram.

The rise of fashion ecommerce

Following the reveal of the latest IMRG figures, Andrew McClelland, IMRG's chief operations and policy officer said:

" We have seen changes in the way consumers buy clothing, such as the rise of mobile devices and click-and-collect, which have contributed to an increase in confidence when shopping online.

"This report will help fashion retailers understand industry-wide trends and how they might affect their sector and own performance."

The news comes at an appropriate time for the fashion world, who will largely be preparing for London Fashion Week which is due to start tomorrow, with some brands including Victoria Beckham, previewing lines on Instagram and Twitter ahead of the catwalk.

Rachel Hand, head of content at theEword said: "There are several fashion brands who have embraced the ability to engage with customers that social media presents from day one, and these latest figures certainly suggest the investment has paid off.

"As DVF and many other fashion houses have illustrated, effective content marketing is often the simplest, such as sneak peeks of new lines, yet they have a huge impact on the visibility of your business."