There is new information and stats being released daily regarding the COVID crisis and its impact on economies world wide. We are continuing to closely monitor the situation so that we can provide our clients and the rest of the eCommerce community the most accurate and up-to-date information available.

In this update we’ll be taking a look at larger, national trends as well as taking a closer look at the apparel industry.

COVID-19 and the Apparel Industry

While we have seen a surge in the digital sales of ‘essential’ items like non-perishable goods, cleaning products, even camping equipment, apparel has taken a solid short-term hit. Notso has revealed that fashion sales slid 30% in March compared to the same period in 2019. It’s not just sales figures that took a hit, overall sales revenue plummeted by 32% and visits by 24%. Average order value fell by 6% and conversions by 9%.

But since the worst of the numbers were reported on March 20th there has been a bit of a rebound. The global head of marketing at Nosto, Matt Levin stated, “Since that low-point on 20 March, the data shows some signs of a recovery beginning with sales revenue and visits recovering somewhat in all countries, while conversion rates are staying relatively the same. Increased traffic with stable conversion seems to mean these new shoppers are still buying at typical rates, which could be a result of merchants reacting with discounts and merchandising shifts, or consumer behaviour simply stabilising.”

The current situation  also provides an opportunity for apparel eCommerce retailers to shift their strategy to meet the current unique needs of customers. Highlighting and featuring products/collections that are more relevant to our current ‘stay at home’ lifestyle can go a long way in alleviating the stress customers feel when shopping for items they didn’t even think they needed just a few weeks ago.

Buyer Behavior and Online Shopping Survey Results

As suspected, online shopping is increasing as the Pandemic spreads. Retail Systems Research published a piece on April 2nd 2020 that shows 93% of all respondents expect to use eCommerce the same amount or more frequently than they have before COVID spread.

RSR’s report also shows that online shopping will be vital to customers for the indefinite future.

We’re also beginning to learn more about shoppers’ current behavior. A survey released by Yotpo this week saw some interesting, but not unexpected results.

Conclusion

Consumers are looking to spend less (56.75%) rather than spend more (23.65%) during this time, or they’re aiming to maintain their typical spend (22.80%). Almost a third (31.7%) are shifting to buying online more than in physical stores.

We’ll continue to monitor the situation and report the most interesting and pressing facts and figures we can find regarding the COVID crisis and its direct impact on eCommerce. Until next time, stay safe and stay healthy.