How big is the cake of online sales in U.S. Fashion?

Insights into the online share of total sales in the U.S. Fashion market

This fall, in September, the New York Fashion Week (NYFW) will take place once again. Started in 1943 with its first fashion show, the prestigious event probably has become every fashion lover’s favorite time of the year.
In recent years, it became evident that the NYFW no longer is a solely offline event: People don’t have to attend the shows in person anymore to learn about next seasons fashion must-haves since fashion designers started live-streaming their fashion shows, e.g. on YouTube.
Additionally, online retailers, like Chinese eCommerce giant Alibaba, have taken the initiative and partnered with the event series to expand their fashion sales. As it is, Alibaba Group’s premier B2C platform for brands and retailers, Tmall, collaborated with the NYFW since 2017 and plans on continuing and expanding this cooperation. Being an official partner of the NYFW since July 2019, Tmall this year gets an important platform where Chinese designers can showcase their collections while the NYFW on the other hand gets to attract a new audience.
The German mail order company About You recently had its first own fashion week (at the same time as the Berlin Fashion Week), called “ABOUT YOU Fashion Week”, creating a festive fashion experience to inspire their online shopping customers.



Summing it up, fashion increasingly becomes part of the online word. It thus might not come as a surprise that the U.S. online share of fashion sales in 2019 has already been at 20% and is forecast to account for 32% in 2023. These numbers are similar to the online share of sales of furniture & appliances in the U.S. but lower than those of consumer electronics which are known to be products that are preferably shopped online.



Within the field of fashion eCommerce in the U.S., Bags & Accessories is forecast to develop most within the next years – experiencing a growth of 112% between 2019 and 2023 to reach an online share of 49% in 2023. Second ranks the Apparel segment, with an expected share of 31% in 2023 in the U.S., coming from 19% in 2019. Last ranks the U.S. footwear segment which is the one unlikely to develop to a considerable degree between 2019 and 2023, at a growth rate of only 2%.
This last value can be explained by the fact that trying on shoes is an essential part of the shoe-shopping experience that cannot be done online. Whether a shoe fits or not can hardly be estimated only by looking at a picture and knowing the size as every shoe is different (material, fit, etc.). With online-shopped clothes, accessories and bags, it usually seems to be easier for the customer to choose the right item with size and picture given.



Visit our news area for additional content around the topic of eCommerce.
September 2019