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A lot is happening in the eCommerce industry; mergers, acquisitions and management shifts. The merger of Yoox and Net-a-Porter for example is being regarded iconic as they will merge to become world’s largest fashion e-tailer with annual sales of €1.3 billion. It is the perfect blend of front- and back-end excellence, of engineers and marketers. Yoox, started by selling discounted, end-of-season clothing has become a leader in back-end operations, it also powers ecommerce sites for big names like Armani and Valentino. Net-a-Porter on the other hand, is an expert at customer services like front-end customer experience, packaging, same-day delivery and magazine like editorial content.
Yoox and Net-a-porter aren’t the only ecommerce giants in the news, Neiman Marcus has acquired German e-tailer MyTheresa, Farfetch has acquired London boutique Browns, Condé Nast plans to relaunch Style.com as an e-commerce site, Rent The Runway and Lyst have raised new rounds of funding to aid growth. All the above mentioned ecommerce companies have had a role to play in the journey of bringing fashion ecommerce where it currently is. Bringing the fashion world online was done by Yoox, Lyst brought products from hundreds of brands, department stores and boutiques making one common digital shopping mall, Net-a-Porter did the traditional wholesale buying and selling of products, Farfetch helped to connect consumers to an entire network of brands through a common marketplace, Mobile app Spring has made convenient shopping possible with one button technology, by connecting customers directly with brands.
There is also a prediction of projected growth in online luxury sales of 20 to 25 percent over the next five years, which is great news for all online fashion companies. Most retailers understand that they need to present online as it inspires 50% of buying decisions, even though only 6% of sales are done online. Farfetch is testing the waters of multi channel presence by acquiring London boutique Browns. Etailers like Yoox Net-a-Porter are missing out of the multi channel presence advantage due to a lack of physical stores. On the contrary Neiman Marcus can reap the advantage due to its vast network of 41 mainline department stores in US. There is also whole different sort of ecommerce created by companies like Rent The Runway who are letting women rent designer outfits for a fraction of the original markup price. The success of the company can be measured by the fact that five million women have joined the service and borrowed $300 million worth of clothing. Experts believe that incumbents like Neiman Marcus who combine offline and online have the best chance to win the ecommerce race.
I am the Founder at ILoveFashionRetail, where we design & develop e-commerce websites & mobile apps for fashion retailers. We also help fashion brands grow their online sales & traffic. My essays are featured at Forbes, Moz, Fairchild, FIT and more. Contact me.