#coronavirus • 03.04.2020

Online fashion retail sales revenue plummets by over 30 percent

New data from Nosto about online shopping in Europe and the US during the COVID-19 pandemic

A woman shopping shoes online
Source: Bildagentur PantherMedia / Andriy Popov

Online fashion, apparel and accessories retailers in the US and key European countries have seen revenues fall by over 30% year-on-year in March due to the coronavirus epidemic according to a new report. However, traffic did not drop by as much, suggesting that consumers are still prepared to browse for fashion. And there was a slight uptick in performance after the lowest point on March 20th suggesting that retailers might be reacting and adjusting in the short-term.

The data comes from Nosto, the AI-powered commerce experience platform, which tracked the performance of fashion, apparel and accessories ecommerce merchants from March 1st to 25th, 2020 and compared it with the same time period in 2019. The data is based on the performance of 271 merchants that use the Nosto platform in the UK, US, Germany, France and Sweden.

Worst performing day: March 20th

According to the analysis, visits, number of orders, and total sales across all countries started dropping noticeably around March 7th. The worst performing day was March 20th, when sales revenue overall was down 32 percent and visits were down 24 percent. Average Order Value (AOV) declined by 6 percent while conversions were down by 9 percent. On this day, US sales dropped 27 percent, but traffic only dropped by 9 percent — the largest gap between sales and traffic of any region.

“Since that low-point on March 20th, 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,” said Matt Levin, Nosto’s Global Head of Marketing. “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. As things continue to develop we'll continue to monitor what is happening.”

Ways brands connecting with their customers

Jake Chatt, Head of Brand Marketing at Nosto, has noticed a number of ways in which brands are trying to connect with their customers by shifting their messaging and strategy to align with what's going on in the world: “Having real-time updates on stock availability or current shipping times can help shoppers feel informed when everything seems so uncertain. Highlighting or showcasing products and collections that are more relevant to people's new at-home lifestyles can alleviate the stress of trying to find new items that they didn't think they'd be looking for two weeks ago. For example, leisure clothing could be something a lot of shoppers are currently looking for - or new at-home office needs. Finally, we've been seeing some brands connect with shoppers on an even more human level by setting up funds or donations for medical needs or those who have been put out of work due to the outbreak.”

Source: Nosto

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