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Published
Jan 27, 2018
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Amazon leads the pack for apparel e-commerce, says study

Published
Jan 27, 2018

CPC Strategy’s new report explores the trends currently shaping online apparel retail, including filtering functionalities, mobile platforms and, of course, Amazon.
 

52% of respondents turned to Amazon for their apparel e-commerce needs - Amazon


The 2018 US Forecast on Apparel Shopping Trends surveyed 1,500 US shoppers about how and why they buy clothes online, and found that 52% of respondents turned to Amazon to fulfil their e-commerce apparel needs.

Despite Amazon’s domination of online retail, this revelation may come as something of a surprise in the apparel sector, where the e-commerce titan has a less-than-perfect track record, as the report points out "Historically, Amazon struggled to display clothing in an easy-to-browse manner", while also failing to attract high fashion labels concerned with protecting their exclusive image.

However, the study suggests that "Amazon may have finally hit their stride in a few key apparel sectors", citing Cowen & Co.’s forecast that the company will sell $28 billion worth of apparel in 2018.
 
Part of Amazon’s success in a sector where it previously faltered is, no doubt, thanks to its ability to integrate services and functionalities across all platforms. The report found, for example, that 20.6% of online apparel shoppers thought being able to filter search results by categories such as size and price was an important part of the e-commerce experience. However, the authors warned that although filtering may seem like "a basic functionality of many apparel websites […] it needs to work well across mobile and desktop."
 
Indeed, even though CPC’s study confirmed that home computers are still the favorite tool for accessing e-commerce sites, with 71% of those surveyed preferring to shop for clothing on their desktops or laptops, other devices – including smartphones – are gaining ground. 25.6% of respondents preferred to use their phones when shopping for apparel while a smaller 7.5% favored tablets.
 
The reported increase in the popularity of mobile shopping channels is in line with recent results in the wider retail context, where mobile shopping accounted for 61% of all traffic on Thanksgiving, and 46% of sales.

With this in mind, Amazon’s gains in the apparel sector start to make more sense, especially considering the popularity of its mobile app. Citing results from ComScore’s 2017 US Mobile App Report, CPC’s study revealed that 35% of millennials consider the Amazon app “essential”, ahead of both Gmail (30%) and Facebook (29%).
 
Furthermore, news of the online retail giant's changing apparel fortunes is not completely unprecedented, as fashion drove much of its private label growth in 2017

The full 2018 US Forecast on Apparel Shopping Trends report is available to download on CPC Strategy’s website. 

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