Moving to mobile: m-commerce and the fashion shopper

Our colleagues at FusePump recently looked at fashion and digital commerce in a report and accompanying infographic. The report indicates fashion consumers are increasingly opting to shop online.

To do so they use an increasing range of devices and multiple channels. That might be true for many other categories but fashion retailers have more opportunities to tap into the omni-channel and even channel-agnostic behaviour of today’s consumer for many reasons explained in the report.

“Fashion and digital work together brilliantly. More brands are bringing new technology to each stage of the consumer journey, and using dynamic data in more creative ways to capture and convert customers online. “

— Robert Durkin, FusePump on Econsultancy

Fashion: the leading category in the shift to ubiquitous mobility

Even if it’s only one driver in that changing consumer behaviour regarding fashion shopping (and one of several topics in the FusePump report), mobile is definitely a big factor for fashion brands. It’s also one of those key drivers to make the most of the multiple channels – and along with it of dynamic data to serve the fashion shopper.

Isn’t that the case for each category in an increasingly mobile-first world? Sure. But with fashion it’s a different ball game. As the FusePump report says, there are 16% more people using mobiles for fashion purchases than other online retail transactions (source: IMRG, The UK’s Online Retail Association). So, it’s definitely not something to neglect if you are a fashion marketer.

Mobile in fashion shopping - IMRG via the FusePump report

Mobile in fashion shopping – IMRG via the FusePump report

The role of mobile and m-commerce in the fashion buying journey was also emphasized last year at an e-commerce event in fashion city Milan by comScore’s Gian Fulgoni.

Across the EU5 (Italy, Germany, Spain, France, UK), clothing and accessories is the category purchased by most people using a smartphone, Gian’s presentation showed (PDF available via the website of the organisers or – registration required – on comScore).

With 38% (percentage of smartphone owners who had made at least one monthly purchase) the clothing and accessories category ranks well ahead of the traditional others such as electronics/appliances and book), each ‘scoring’ 26%.

The mobile shopper: smartphones in the journey and the fitting room

It’s not just about the actual shopping where we see that, while smartphones rank high (as there are also many of those around), purchase value is often higher on tablets (still less adopted but also often used within a different context). It’s also about the use of mobile by the fashion shopper in a broader context.

We need to differ between the actual shopping via mobile itself (m-buying) and everything related with the buying decision such as price comparison, finding stores, researching products and availability (m-shopping). And then there is the use of mobile devices in-store, ranging from taking and sharing pictures of products to in-store price comparison and barcode scanning. But that’s for later blog posts. In the meantime, it’s clear that mobile is impacting fashion brands more than most other brands, also outside of the pure buying dimension as you can read below.

The mobile search for fashion: whopping growth

Engagement across devices leads to higher spending on fashionEarlier this year the online retail monitor of Google and the BRC (British Retail Consortium) stated that UK consumers make greater use than ever of handheld devices to shop online, particularly where it comes to buying clothes. The number of consumers using their smartphones searching for fashion items went up by a whopping 54% in just one year, the monitor showed. On tablets, with their lower penetration than smartphones, searches for clothes were up by 11%.

Engaging shoppers across devices leads to a higher spend on fashion. Meeting and engaging them through multiple channels, whether they are searching, comparing or planning a visit to your store helps you make the difference in times where shoppers visit multiple websites before buying.

“According to Google, the average shopper visits 2.9 different websites before buying clothes (11.4 site visits in total)”

— Robert Durkin, FusePump on Econsultancy

Mobile isn’t just a driver of growth in the UK as Google Retail Director, Peter Fitzgerald said. The findings of the Kantar Worldpanel Fashion, mentioned in the FusePump report, are clear in that regard.

Learn more in the FusePump ‘Fashion & Digital Commerce’ report.

It includes findings from leading brands and examples of start-ups who brought the mobile fashion experience to a whole new level. And it’s about much more than mobile.