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Digital fashion sales remained up in December despite COVID-19 Plan B social curbs

Tom Shearsmith
10 January 2022

UK digital fashion revenues and traffic remained resilient in December, despite the UK Government's COVID-19 Plan B plans and consumers limiting pre-Christmas socialising amid Omicron fears, according to consumer experience platform True Fit.

Reportedly, website traffic saw digital browsing peak early as shoppers looked to get ahead of supply chain disruptions, making the Black Friday/Cyber Weekend boost more pronounced this year.

Data from True Fit’s Fashion Genome, the world's largest connected data set for fashion, which analyses data from 17,000 retail brands and data from 84 million members, showed site visits rose +64% in November compared to October and +40% year-on-year at the end of November.

On average, web traffic volumes across October to December (the peak trading period) were +37% higher than in 2020, while online order volumes spiked even earlier, up +10% in October and +8% in November.

Both digital fashion sales and web traffic then fell back in December, falling -35% and -121% month-on-month respectively. True Fit suggests the dip could have been caused by consumers buying early, having already made digital fashion purchases during Black Friday, or were due to shoppers holding off making new online apparel buys due to uncertainty about COVID restriction ahead of Christmas.

Demand for online fit guidance during peak trading rose +13% compared to 2020, despite stores being fully open this year.

Sarah Curran Usher MBE, General Manager EMEA at True Fit, said: “Once again we have seen yet another validation of the rise and rise of digital fashion during this year’s peak trading period – building on the acceleration we saw last year during the pandemic. So far, online fashion continues to perform strongly and next year we will reach the watershed moment when, for the first time, digital fashion sales will overtake High Street revenues, validating the long-term shift in ecommerce demand and the buying behaviours of increasingly digitally-first consumers.

“As revenues from online channels rise in line with consumer demand for digital fashion, retailers and brands will need to build confidence in shoppers to evaluate brands and products digitally and leverage data to understand shoppers, their preferences and returns behaviour.”

TheIndustry.fashion featured Sarah Curran Usher on the In Detail Podcast series, where she spoke about her extensive career and looked at what’s next for the dynamic online fashion market in the post-pandemic word.

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