According to a new publication from Germany-based market research organization yStats.com, “Europe Clothing B2C E-Commerce Market 2016,” online retail sales of fashion are burgeoning across the advanced and emerging markets of the Old Continent. The report sheds light on the market sizes and growth rates and provides information about online shoppers and major competitors in the key countries.
Clothing is one of the most popular product categories purchased by online shoppers in Europe. It beat electronics, books and other product categories in terms of online shoppers’ share in countries such as the UK, Germany, France, Russia, Poland, Turkey and Finland in 2015. More than half of online shoppers in the EU made purchases of clothes and sports goods last year.
With the online sales of fashion growing, B2C E-Commerce’s share of total retail sales of this product category is also expanding. In the UK, over 10% of sales of clothing, footwear and textile retailers were done online in the first six months of 2016. In Germany, the online share is projected to reach over one third of sales within the next ten years. While the online penetration is significantly lower in emerging Eastern European countries, B2C E-Commerce sales of clothing are also growing there, rising at double-digit growth rates in Russia, Turkey, and other markets.
Among the current challenges to the online fashion industry is the high rate of returns, many of them resulting from the inability to try products before the purchase. New virtual fitting and sizing technologies are being developed to help resolve this issue. Pure-play online retailers such as ASOS, Zalando and Wildberries could especially benefit from these innovations.