Oct 19, 2021
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Back-to-office drive boosted online fashion checkouts in September

Oct 19, 2021

Demand online for new officewear jumped in September as workers steadily began reverting to pre-pandemic conditions, a new report shows.

Photo: Pexels/Public domain

Signalling the beginning of the end of the work-from-homewear era, online fashion checkouts for apparel increased 15% year-on-year last month, and by 8% month-on-month, according to consumer experience platform True Fit.

Site traffic, order volumes and average order value (AOV) all rose last month.

Importantly, even after last year’s rapid growth in demand for online fashion during the pandemic, fashion checkouts in 2021 still remain 6% higher compared to 2020, “showing the sustained demand for e-commerce and a long-term shift in the behaviour of increasingly digitally-first consumers”, the report, entitled Fashion Genome, claims.

Digital browsing also saw a boost in September, with web traffic to fashion retailers up 22% on the year, while AOV also increased 8% on the monthly average for 2021 and by 6% year-on-year, “pointing to sustained consumer confidence even amidst the supply chain disruption experienced by UK retailers”.

With ‘back to the office’ outfitting boosting new category buying spikes online, demand for women’s dresses has now overtaken denim. By mid-October dress sales were outstripping denim by 10%.

Meanwhile, demand for more formal footwear, such as boots, has consistently outpaced trainers since July, represented 50% more purchases compared to trainers last month.

However, hybrid working has still got Britons opting for ‘comfort’ when it comes to workwear outfitting. The data shows casualwear checkouts are up across womenswear and menswear since the beginning of the month, rising 140% and 180% respectively.

Sarah Curran Usher, GM EMEA at True Fit, said: “The sustained and continued upward growth in demand for online fashion shows shoppers are now truly digital-first – even the most devout bricks-and-mortar fashion shoppers have shifted and stayed online, while those who were already digitally-native have had those behaviours further reinforced and entrenched.”

She added: “And for retailers, that means supporting customers in new ways that match their evolved shopping needs. Central to that is being able to quickly get under the skin of customers’ preferences around fit and size, to connect them with only what they love.  Only then can they turn site traffic from first-time browsers into repeat-returning shoppers, and existing customers into long-term brand advocates.”

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