Covid-19: Online fashion sales recover in April

Online fashion sales significantly improved in April following a 30% drop last month as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. New data from Nosto has revealed there was a 21% year-on-year increase in eCommerce sales in fashion, apparel and accessories in the past month globally as lockdown measures continue.

In addition, the study found that year-on-year website visits grew by 9% and orders by 30%, with the conversion rate increasing by 12%.

These markedly improved eCommerce figures suggest fashion retailers are adapting to meet changing consumer needs at this time.

Matthew Levin, global head of marketing at Nosto said: “There are a number of tactics retailers can apply to offset some of the challenges in shifting consumer demand and supply chain challenges: from organising their category pages to surface the most relevant items for the current climate, to prioritising inventory filtering in product recommendations and on category pages to show only in-stock items, to adjusting their messaging using dynamic content that highlights different ways to still enjoy new apparel items at home.”

The report analysed the online performance of 271 fashion retailers that use the Nosto platform in the US, UK, Germany, France, Sweden, Australia and New Zealand over 50 days. This showed a huge drop in visits, orders and sales in March as the Covid-19 crisis developed in many countries before a bounceback in April.

However, Nosto also reported a 3% reduction in average order value during this period. Levin added: “It could be that even with the closure of overall physical retail, there is enough consumer demand to continue to drive online sales -  which would be a positive indicator for ecommerce overall. Alternatively, perhaps consumers are simply being lured into making fashion purchases now through heavy discounting by retailers who are fighting to keep the sales coming in, which is pushing down average order value. If so, this would be an unsustainable tactic over the longer term.”