These Trends Are Driving Massive Change in Apparel Retail

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These Trends Are Driving Massive Change in Apparel Retail

Criteo's "Apparel Trend Report: Reconciling the Tech with the Tactile" report highlights the latest shopping trends in the apparel & accessories retail category, offering key market insight into shifting shopper behavior and actionable intelligence for retailers and brands as they seek to fully capitalize on the apparel e-commerce ecosystem.

"The apparel and accessories category is witnessing a massive transformation," said Jonathan Opdyke, president, brand solutions, Criteo. "Millennial shoppers purchase the majority of their clothing and accessories online and retail storefronts are shifting to showrooming, in which shoppers can experience in real life and then purchase online. Apparel brands and retailers must embrace the new 'always-on' retail paradigm, where seasonality plays less of a role and in-store and online technology innovation enhances the shopper experience."

Key trends from Criteo's data analysis of apparel & accessories shopper behavior include:

With so many complementary products available, on average, there are more than three products in every cart. Carts with an apparel item averaged $95.21 during the third quarter of 2016, highlighting the need for marketers to maximize cross-selling opportunities.

One third of all apparel purchases were made via mobile phones during the weekends in December 2016 at the height of the holiday shopping season. Marketers need to adopt 'mobile first' strategies to capitalize on this trend.
Sunday peaks reflect the omnichannel nature of e-commerce. The average cart size hit $126 on Sun., Nov. 13, and the second biggest day was Sun., Dec. 7 – with shoppers likely identifying clothes in-store and purchasing online at a convenient time.

Additional takeaways from "Apparel Deep Dive: Reconciling the Tech with the Tactile" include:

Embrace in-store and online tech innovation: Augmented reality experiences, as well as in-store technology like eBay magic mirrors enhance the shopping experience.
Leverage sponsored product listings to drive awareness and sales: Sponsored products, which are relevant to the purchaser and multiple SKU categories like Apparel and Accessories, reach shoppers at the point of need.
Explore your retail lifestyle: The best of the new crop of retailers all treat their sites like a combination of a store and Vogue: they tell lifestyle stories in which shoppers can 'see themselves' as they go through the purchase process.
Use paid search to help increase organic rankings: Paid search is proven to drive immediate product sales with the added benefit of lifting search rankings overall.
Personalize everything: The word "bespoke" is suddenly back – but this time it is about how an item of apparel is tailored through technology to be something unique and special, whether it is in the fit of the garment or other optional elements.
E-commerce marketing requires an always-on strategy: e-commerce has fundamentally changed retailing seasonality. Marketers' brand budgets must be able to cover not just traditional retail seasons like holidays and spring but the entire year.
Try before you buy: With subscription boxes such as PopSugar and Bespoke Post, marketers can – and should – get their brands into the hands of shoppers. Brands should cultivate these sampling programs that work especially well for accessories.
Ditch print in favor of digital: There is no more effective way to build up your customer email database than permission to email shoppers their receipts. It's a technique that consumers increasingly expect and can be used to connect offline shopper data sets to online ones for retargeting online based on offline purchasing patterns.

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