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UK Fashion Ecommerce Market to Witness Highest Growth on Account of Rising Smartphone Penetration

Laxmi Ilme
UK Fashion Ecommerce Market to Witness Highest Growth on Account of Rising Smartphone Penetration

The UK fashion ecommerce market offers products such as apparel, footwear, accessories, and beauty products to customers online. The market enables customers to browse catalogs, view product details including pictures, read reviews, and make purchases from the comfort of their homes. Key advantages include huge product variety, competitive pricing, convenience of home delivery, and easy payment options. The growing popularity of online shopping especially among the millennial generation is driving demand in the UK.

Global UK fashion ecommerce market is estimated to be valued at US$ 85.51 billion in 2024 and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 15% over the forecast period 2024 to 2031.

Rising smartphone penetration has made online shopping more accessible, convenient and affordable for customers in the UK. App and mobile-optimized websites have further accelerated ecommerce growth in this industry.

Key Takeaways

Key players operating in the UK fashion ecommerce market are H&M, Zalando, Amazon Fashion, Primark, Topshop, River Island, Missguided, PrettyLittleThing, ASOS, Boohoo, Next, Very, Marks & Spencer, John Lewis, New Look, JD Sports, Farfetch, Gymshark, Reiss, and AllSaints. These players dominate the market with their quality products, competitive pricing, and excellent online shopping experience.

The UK Fashion Ecommerce Market Demand has seen rising demand driven by the growing millennial population that prefers online channels for fashion shopping. Their increasing spending power and frequent online shopping habits ensure steady revenues for ecommerce retailers.

Technological innovations have given a boost to the market. Easy payment options like PayPal, Visa, Mastercard and netbanking have increased customer trust in online transactions. Personalization tools now allow customers to get tailored recommendations and regular new product updates keeping their interest intact.

Market Trends

Growing popularity of social commerce: Major online fashion brands are investing heavily in using influencer marketing on Instagram and Facebook to promote new collections and drive traffic. Partnerships with popular British fashion bloggers are also becoming common.

Rise of sustainable fashion brands: Eco-friendly brands making apparel from organic cotton, recycled plastics and other sustainable materials are gaining significant traction among environmentally conscious UK consumers. Many prominent retailers have also introduced dedicated sustainable product categories.

Market Opportunities

Customization and personalization: Advanced AI and big data analytics can empower ecommerce sites to offer highly personalized shopping experiences based on individual preferences, priorities and past browsing/purchase history.

Mobile commerce: With nearly 80% UK online sales happening through mobiles, integrating advanced capabilities like augmented reality, virtual try-on and seamless mobile checkouts can unlock the next phase of growth for fashion ecommerce.

Impact of COVID-19 on UK Fashion Ecommerce Market

The Covid-19 pandemic significantly impacted the growth of the UK fashion ecommerce market. During the peak of lockdowns and restrictions imposed by the government to curb the spread of the virus, the offline retail sector witnessed a sharp decline. This forced retailers to shift their business operations to digital platforms. However, the UK fashion ecommerce market experienced tremendous growth as consumers started buying apparel and accessories online to meet their fashion needs while being confined indoors.

Pre Covid, the fashion ecommerce market in the UK was growing steadily but majorly focused on serving desktop users. Post covid, there has been an increased demand for apps and mobile-friendly websites as more shoppers are now using their smartphones to shop online. Major retailers started investing heavily in digital capabilities like omni-channel strategies, artificial intelligence, and analytics to improve customer experience and ensure seamless delivery. They also expanded their product catalogues and offered attractive deals to attract new customers.

Going forward, retailers need to prioritize omnichannel commerce and focus on personalization. They must enhance their apps and sites to make shopping more convenient on mobile devices. Offering virtual fitting and try-on features can boost consumer confidence in online purchases of apparel. Strengthening fulfillment infrastructure and expanding same-day delivery options will help sustain the growth momentum. Sufficient inventory levels and flexible return policies are also important to retain customers in the post-pandemic era. Overall, Covid-19 has accelerated the shift to online channels and boosted prospects of the UK fashion ecommerce industry.

Regions where UK Fashion Ecommerce Market is concentrated

In terms of value, the UK fashion ecommerce market is highly concentrated in England, especially in major cities like London, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool and others. According to industry estimates, around 60% of the total market sales come from England only. This can be attributed to the high population density, strong internet connectivity and tech-savviness of urban consumers in this region. London, being the epicentre of UK fashion, contributes over 25% to the country's online apparel and footwear sales. The metropolitan culture and high spending power of Londoners drive the heavy concentration of this market in Southeast England. Other regions like Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland also actively participate but account for relatively lower shares.

Fastest growing region for UK Fashion Ecommerce Market

Currently, the Midlands region has been witnessing the fastest growth in the UK fashion ecommerce industry. Cities like Leeds, Sheffield, Nottingham have emerged as hotspots attracting major retailers. According to recent industry reports, the Midlands market saw a 20% YoY surge in online apparel sales over the last year alone. As infrastructure and delivery capabilities continue to ramp up in this zone, more customers are choosing familiar brands through their websites and apps. Furthermore, the large young population with rising disposable incomes makes Midlands a promising territory. Retailers are also setting up local fulfilment centres and experience centres to strengthen presence and tap into new regional demand centers. Overall, Midlands provides immense scope for growth and can overtake other regions in terms of pace of expansion.

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Laxmi Ilme
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