Covid-19: Online fashion sales fall 30%

Online fashion retail sales have fallen 30% year-on-year in March as a result of the Covid-19 epidemic, a report by Nosto has revealed. There are signs of optimism, however, with an improvement in performance recorded since the lowest point on 20 March.

The report, entitled ‘Effects of the Covid-19 Outbreak on Fashion, Apparel, and Accessory Ecommerce’, tracked the sales record of 271 fashion, apparel and accessories eCommerce retailers from the UK, US, Germany, France and Sweden that use the Nosto platform during the period 1 March to 25 March 2020. This data was then compared to the same time last year.

There was a noticeable reduction in visits, number of orders, and total sales across all countries from around 7 March, with the worst performing day being 20 March. On this date overall sales revenue plummeted by 32% and visits by 24%, whilst average order value fell by 6% and conversions by 9%.

Since then there has been some improvement in the figures, suggesting that online fashion retailers are adapting to the crisis.

Matt Levin, global head of marketing at Nosto said: “Since that low-point on 20 March, the data shows some signs of a recovery beginning – with sales revenue and visits recovering somewhat in all countries, while conversion rates are staying relatively the same. Increased traffic with stable conversion seems to mean these new shoppers are still buying at typical rates, which could be a result of merchants reacting with discounts and merchandising shifts, or consumer behaviour simply stabilising.”

The report also highlighted that consumers are continuing to browse for fashion products, which offers opportunities for retailers if they adopt a strategy that matches people’s current needs.

“Highlighting or showcasing products and collections that are more relevant to people's new at-home lifestyles can alleviate the stress of trying to find new items that they didn't think they'd be looking for two weeks ago,” stated Jake Chatt, head of brand marketing at Nosto.