The State of Fashion - Industry Statistics 2021 - SwiftERM

The state of fashion – industry statistics 2021. As globalization and digital innovation shift consumer spending habits and fashion as we know it, the wave of change within the industry is on the rise. Currently, 74% of consumers rely on social networks to guide purchasing decisions, however, e-commerce is not the only medium we are seeing evolve. From the rise in sustainability to an emphasis on community engagement, this article takes a deep dive into fashion industry statistics and how they are propelling executives to disrupt and challenge the norm. 

Clothing plays a role in every aspect of our lives whether it be professionally or personally. Whether you’re working directly in the fashion industry or not, understanding new and emerging trends and data will set you apart within the saturated market. To explore how strategic trends, marketing efforts, employment rates and other industry data are shaping fashion retailers in 2021 and beyond, let’s explore statistics that examine the forces that work within fashion.


E-Commerce Fashion Industry Statistics

The State of Fashion - Industry Statistics 2021

As mobile-friendly and smartphone technology has advanced the online shopping experience, e-commerce fashion industry statistics reveal that retailers are optimizing sites for the mobile user. 96% of Americans now own a cellphone, increasing time spent online and raising expectations for a faster and immediate shopping experience. Explore the e-commerce fashion industry statistics that are shaping changes in automation and buyer behaviors below. 

  1. E-Commerce transactions are expected to make up 36% of total fashion retail by 2022 (Forrester).
  2. In 2019, online fashion sales accounted for 28.24% of total retail e-commerce sales in the United States (Statista).
  3. Dedicated fan apps can increase yearly revenue by 5%, with ‘chosen’ customers not only “serving as brand ambassadors”, but also spending up to twice as much (Riskified).
  4. In 2019, U.S. online retail sales of physical goods amounted to 365.2 billion US dollars and are projected to reach close to 600 billion US dollars in 2024 (Statista).
  5. The average online fashion shopper belongs to between one and five loyalty programs (Astound Commerce).
  6. Existing customers spend 67% more than new shoppers, making loyalty programs generally fruitful (HubSpot).
  7. While e-commerce has raised customer expectations, only a third of consumers think shopping online is more convenient than going to a physical store (McKinsey & Company).
  8. 81% of North American consumers are likely to continue buying from a brand because of the loyalty program incentives (Brand Loyalty).
  9. Internet retailing accounted for nearly 11% of the apparel market in 2018, double the proportion just three years prior, driven in part by increasing internet and smartphone penetration (India Brand Equity Foundation).
  10. In 2018, fashion e-commerce accounted for roughly 20.4 percent of the total fashion retail sales in the United States and has continued to experience a steady annual growth rate since 2003 (Statista).
  11. In 2018, U.S. retail e-commerce revenue from the sale of fashion apparel, footwear and accessories amounted to an estimated 102 billion U.S. dollars and is projected to grow to almost 146 billion U.S. dollars by 2023 (Statista).
  12. Within the fashion sector, just 6% of 2018 retail spend in the region was via e-commerce, as opposed to China’s near-32 percent (McKinsey & Company).
  13. A superior digital presence can also improve physical store sales, which is evidenced by the 67% of online shoppers who, when returning an item in person, will browse or make another purchase (Big Commerce).
  14. A 2018 survey of 1000 fashion enthusiasts revealed that almost half used a fashion app for browsing or buying (Astound Commerce).
  15. Over 900 million people have global social media connections, allowing huge ecosystems like Facebook and WeChat to significantly contribute to the efficiency of international markets (The Business of Fashion and McKinsey & Company).
  16. In 2018, apparel, footwear, and accessories had the highest share of cross-border digital buyers globally, with 68% having purchased from an international seller (eMarketer).

The State of Fashion - Industry Statistics 2021

What factors are shaping the future of fashion? Whether pivotal strategies be dictated by digital innovation, buyer expectations or retail locationing, we’ve pulled the top fashion industry trends and forecasting statistics to shed light on what’s next for fashion. 

  1. GSMA Intelligence forecasts that in the Asia Pacific the rate for unique mobile penetration will grow from 67% in 2017 to 73% by 2025 and that the region will account for just over half of new mobile subscribers globally by the same year (The Business of Fashion and McKinsey & Company).
  2. In Europe and the US, more than 65 percent of consumers expect to decrease their spending on apparel, while only 40 percent expect to decrease total household spending (The Business of Fashion and McKinsey & Company).
  3. Moreover, four in five customers shopping in stores today browse the internet on their phones as they go (The Business of Fashion and McKinsey & Company).
  4. China was the largest online fashion market in 2018 (volume of $246.9 billion) and it’s expected to reach a volume three times as large as the US by 2023 (Statista).
  5. As of March 2020, 60% of consumers in the US already reported that they need to be careful how they spend their money, with more than one-third stating that the pandemic is even impacting their ability to make financial ends meet (The Business of Fashion and McKinsey & Company).
  6. By 2022, worldwide online apparel and accessories sales are forecast to reach $765 billion (eMarketer).
  7. McKinsey and Oxford Economics analysis shows that, even in the most positive economic recovery scenario, GDP will only return to pre-crisis levels by the end of 2020 or even the beginning of 2021 (McKinsey & Company).
  8. Evidence from previous crisis shows that it may take up to two years to fully restore consumer confidence (McKinsey & Company).
  9. Due to the pandemic in Italy, the number of items on discount is up 20 percent year-on-year (Edited).
  10. In the luxury segment, we expect consumers to return more quickly to paying full price for quality, timeless goods, as was the case after the 2008-2009 financial crisis (McKinsey & Company).

Marketing in Fashion Statistics

Marketing can make or break the success of a brand’s campaign or product launch. Check out the top marketing in fashion statistics to see what strategies are propelling brands in 2021 and beyond.  

  1. The Apparel industry’s 18.62% average follower growth is especially impressive considering the large median audience for brands in this sector (TrackMaven).
  2. Stories are now growing 15x faster than feed-based sharing (Block Party).
  3. 4 out of 5 major brands are already using the Stories format (Block Party).
  4. Marketers are increasing social ad budgets (up 32 percent in 2018 alone) and producing more ads than ever before (CMO Survey).
  5. One of every four Facebook Pages now uses paid media (Hootsuite).
  6. Facebook already accounts for 23% of total U.S. digital ad spending (eMarketer).
  7. 17%have either implemented shoppable galleries or plan to do so in the next 12 months (Hootsuite)
  8. 70% of China’s Gen Zers now buy directly from social media (WARC).
  9. 69% of U.S. respondents say that directly messaging a company helps them feel more confident about the brand (Facebook).
  10. Social media use is expanding at around 25 percent annually, with nearly 70 percent of users active on Instagram (The Business of Fashion and McKinsey & Company).
  11. While an incredible 86% of companies use influencer marketing, the engagement rate for such sponsored posts on Instagram dropped from 4% in Q1 2016 to 2.4 percent in Q1 2019 (The Business of Fashion and McKinsey & Company).
  12. Industry executives believe that the top trend shaping the fashion industry within the next 12 months will be a rise in the importance of “storytelling” and marketing strategies that resemble media productions (The Business of Fashion and McKinsey & Company).
  13. 70% of fashion executives believe that increased exploration of and spend on new media platforms versus more “traditional” platforms will be crucial to their companies (The Business of Fashion and McKinsey & Company).
  14. At the same time, executives are showing hesitation, and only 8 percent are choosing to increase spend on TikTok, the biggest emerging platform with more than 800 million downloads and a user base skewed under 30 (The Business of Fashion and McKinsey & Company).
  15. Ultimately, all the content creation needs to lead to sales, and social commerce is growing fast. By 2023, it could account for a fifth of all online sales in China — a staggering $166 billion (McKinsey & Company).

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