Global trend authority WGSN says Amazon is closing in on traditional womenswear retailers and is converting shoppers to its fashion offer with long term success.
According to the latest data from its WGSN Barometer service, which tracks consumer sentiment, during March to October 2017, Amazon showed strong results in retaining customers post-conversion with 54% having made a purchase in the last 12 months.
It does however have a challenge on its hands in terms of “unaided awareness” with only an average of 6% of those surveyed considering Amazon as a place to buy women’s clothes, but it boasts a very small number of lapsed customers at just 20% (the lowest of all brands tracked, relative to customer base size), indicating that once Amazon converts, it keeps the shopper coming back for more.
“Amazon’s ability to retain its customers is unsurprising given its level of convenience and market penetration outside of fashion. The nature of the platform ensures it has a high number of replenishment shoppers, particularly within the menswear market. The challenge for Amazon is to make the transition from repeat transactions of core clothing items into more impulsive trend led purchases,” explained WGSN head of retail Francesca Muston.
Amazon has also built strong loyalty among consumers with 66% of shoppers surveyed either ‘liking the brand a lot’ or ‘loving’ it. Interestingly, Gen Z and Millennials show the strongest brand affinity for Amazon, with over 70% having a positive opinion of the retailer and equally high consideration ratings.
“The fashion industry’s fear of Amazon lies in its scalability and proficiency in using convenience to hook in its customer, but there are other strategies in Amazon’s tool kit which fashion retailers could leverage. Amazon Prime effectively drives brand loyalty yet there are few fashion retailers who offer loyalty schemes which are truly compelling for the customer,” Muston added.
“Amazon also offers the ability to drill down to a specific product yet many fashion retailers’ search results are too broad. Fashion retailers could also make more of their basics lines to encourage replenishment purchases with push reminders and personalised product suggestions,” she said.
According to One Click Retail, Amazon is gaining ground on the womenswear market having amassed sales of $750m in the US alone already in 2017 and is currently growing at 30% year on year.
The e-commerce giant has also upped the ante on brand acquisitions with a physical footprint this year, pursuing a strategy that taps into the brick and mortar advantages of its fashion retail competitors. So, while 26% of consumers surveyed by WGSN Barometer haven’t yet bought womenswear from Amazon, the trend forecaster believes there is “every expectation that this figure will drop as the brand continues its dominant pursuit of the market.”
WGSN’s Barometer is used to track public perception of fashion retailers in the UK and the US. It interviews 350 consumers every day, yielding more than 120,000 interviews a year.