Jan 13, 2023
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UK online fashion retail sales rise post-Christmas

Jan 13, 2023

The big story at retail for the Christmas season may have been all about the strong physical stores bounce-back, but online had its place too. New data suggests e-sales became more important from mid-December and especially in the immediate post-Christmas period. 

True Fit

Digital fashion sales rallied at the end of December, “as Boxing Day deals prompted increased demand among price-sensitive shoppers who sought discounts on clothing and footwear,” according to data-driven fit platform True Fit.

Its Fashion Genome data set showed a mid-December surge in web traffic to online fashion sites, rising 26% year-on-year. It said too that as traffic surged, the demand for fit guidance also increased, with True Fit registrations up 30% in December.

Then UK online fashion orders jumped in the last week of December, up 53% week-on-week. In the week before Christmas, consumers had been worried about placing orders and not getting their deliveries on time. But once Christmas Day had passed, they re-embraced e-shopping as they hunted down bargains, hence the massive week-on-week change.

The numbers support other reports that have come out about December retail with BDO earlier saying the month defied downbeat predictions overall, and Wunderkind pointing to a post-Christmas online surge.

Over the month as a whole, True Fit’s data also showed that fashion orders at online multi-brand retailers significantly outpaced orders from direct to consumer (DTC) brands, with digital department stores taking 50% more order demand than their DTC rivals during the Christmas peak trading period.  

The company thinks this could also be linked to consumers trying to cut down on discretionary spending, choosing to place multiple orders via one online retailer in a bid to incur only one delivery fee, rather than having to pay separate charges for individual orders placed with multiple retailers, as well as the increased levels of credit offered by multi brand retailers compared to brands.

True Fit’s EMEA MD Sarah Curran said: “While retailers remained cautious in the run into peak trading, with many downgrading trading forecasts amid cost-of-living concerns, we have seen standout performances with some retailers, including Seasalt and Next, posting better than expected results.  

“But retailers won’t be looking at those results through rose-tinted glasses – they know that economic headwinds are set to continue into 2023, prompting further consumer spending caution and elongated consideration phases in shoppers’ buying journeys.  And that will mean they will need to fight harder – and smarter - to win each conversion and sale.”

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