The Future of Online Fashion Industry – What’s Coming Next?

If you’re in the online fashion industry space, there is a lot to look forward to! According to recent stats from Forrester Research, the online fashion market is expected to see a 58% increase from this year to hit $765 billion volume by 2022. What does it mean for fashion businesses? Opportunity.

Online versus Offline Fashion Commerce

Currently, online fashion sales make up for 27% of the total volume, however, a Forrester study predicts that in a brief period of 4 years, 36% of all fashion retail sales will come from online sources. It’s not just that online industry is booming but it’s also eating up the share of brick and mortar stores.


While offline fashion stores may never go away totally, they will become a minority in the next decade as online fashion commerce continues to grow at a rapid pace. The study also observed that 6 out of 10 people who have access to the internet made an online purchase in 2019.


Fashion retail is also leading the way in terms of online sales as it makes up for 27% of the total sales as compared to the 15% of global retail sales. However, it should be kept in mind that the fashion industry as a whole is growing so online sales are benefitting from that upward trend as well.

What Does Future Have in Store for Online Fashion?


A fancy term we’ve been hearing for a while now, especially in the fashion space but now it’s becoming a reality as e-commerce sales now make up 46% of total apparel sales. This doesn’t mean that customers don’t want to shop in brick and mortar stores and brands should forget it completely, it simply means that they need to invest in all channels – both offline and online to carve out a seamless experience.

Social eCommerce

A large chunk of fashion sales is already coming from social channels but in the near future, it is expected to explode as people will start buying directly from social media apps and sites. The fact that internet consumers tend to spend more than 2 hours on social networking websites and apps, it’s a channel that fashion brands are heavily targeting.

Cross border eCommerce

This wasn’t as common just a few years ago but as logistics become more streamlined, the consumers find it easier to shop from foreign brands. Last year, clothing, footwear along with accessories posted the largest share of cross-border online buyers globally. Almost 68% made a purchase from a foreign seller in 2018.

Advantages of eCommerce over Traditional Commerce

Although there are a variety of benefits of online commerce when compared to conventional shopping including less overhead cost, the major competitive advantage is targeting. Online commerce enables fashion brands to develop consumer profiles, individually and collectively, to target them with the products they’re looking for.

Consumer behavior

An online business allows you to keep track of the user behavior in terms of which products he or she’s looking at, the amount of time he or she’s spending on a certain product page and the ads they’re clicking on. 

Personalized targeting

This enables fashion brands to target consumers based on their preferences and interests. It’s a win-win situation for both parties as the consumer receives advertisement of what he or she’s looking for while business has an increased chance of making a sale.


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