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How COVID-19 Is Impacting the Fashion Industry

COVID-19 affects industries differently. To some industries, such as travel, it is decimating demand. 

For other sectors of the economy it is providing opportunities.

Last week we covered how COVID-19 is affecting eCommerce stores in both the US and EU at a high level. Now, we want to explore how COVID-19 is affecting specific industries. 

This post looks at the clothing and accessory industry - specifically how COVID-19 is changing shopping cart abandonment rate, conversion rates, average order value, and engagement metrics.

How COVID-19 is Affecting Shopping Cart Abandonment in the Fashion Industry

We start our analysis by looking at how shopping cart abandonment rates have changed since the outbreak. 

Average Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate for the Clothing and Accessory Industry

Fashion abandonment rates have been relatively flat, hovering between 70%-72% for the majority of the crisis.

In aggregate, shopping cart abandonment levels began declining in late February through the end of March before spiking back up in April. 

Fashion Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate by Device

Segmenting the data by device shows that changes in abandonment rate moved in relative lockstep.

That being said, tablets and mobile have experienced higher levels of cart abandonment. This is in alignment with previous data on cart abandonment rates across device (see here for previous cart abandonment rate study). 

How COVID-19 is Affecting Conversion Rates in the Fashion Industry

While the average shopping cart abandonment rate has kept largely flat, the average conversion rate has not. 

Average Conversion Rate for Clothing and Accessory Industry

At the beginning of the pandemic, conversion rates in the eCommerce clothing industry  were tightly bound between 2.86% and 3.11%. 

However, in mid March conversion rates shot up dramatically. The first jump was from 2.93% to 3.79% - a 29.35% increase week over week. Conversion rates continued to increase through the beginning of April, peaking at 4.3%. 

From bottom to peak, conversion rates increased 57.45%. 

Over the last three weeks, it appears that conversion rates have settled down with an average rate of 3.5%. However, they remain significantly higher (22.8%) than pre COVID-19 rates. 

"From bottom to peak, conversion rates increased 57.45%." - Barilliance Research

Average Conversion Rate for Clothing and Accessory Industry by Device

Segmenting by device, we see that conversion rates increased across platforms.

All devices experienced the surge in conversion rates at the beginning of March. 

Conversion rates on computers and tablets surged 33%, while rates on phones improved by 50%!. 

There are a few possible causes for the increased conversion rates. First, the initial shock of the COVID-19 pandemic may be wearing off as citizens around the world begin adapting to the new normal. 

Several governmental stimulus packages designed to prop consumer spending have gone into effect over the timeframe. 

Additionally, the fashion industry is highly seasonal. Marked increases in conversion rates map to changing seasons in many areas of the world. 

How COVID-19 is Affecting Average Order Value in the Fashion Industry

Average Order Value for Clothing and Accessory Industry

Likewise, the average order value in the fashion industry has increased significantly since COVID-19 began. 

Since January 1st, the AOV across sites have increased 22.33%! 

The assent has been gradual, increasing steadily from January through March before dipping and coming up again. 

Average Order Value for clothing and accessory industry by device

Segmenting by device again reveals interesting trends. 

While AOV is highest on computers, both mobile and tablet AOV numbers have made more significant gains than computer sessions. 

The increases in AOV has been astounding. Tablets have had the most significant percent increase in AOV, increasing nearly a third by 30.77%. 

Meanwhile, mobile devices have nearly caught up to computer devices.



Current AOV

Percent Increase













How COVID-19 is Affecting Number Items Viewed in the Fashion Industry

Finally we can look at engagement metrics across clothing and accessory eCommerce stores since COVID-19. 

One metric to look at is the number of items viewed in a session. 

Items viewed per Session for Clothing and Acccessory eCommerce Stores

At an aggregate level, the number of items viewed has remained largely flat, with a pretty major dip from the end of January through the beginning of March. 

In January, an average of 1.39 items were viewed per session. The number of viewed items dropped down to 1.25 before popping back up. 

Items viewed per Session for Clothing and Accessory eCommerce Stores by Device

Segmenting the data by device shows a more complete story. 

Here we see the average number of items viewed actually increased on mobile and decreased on both tablets and computers. 

Also of note is that while computers have the highest conversion rates and AOV, tablets actually have the highest number of viewed products. 

Next Steps...

COVID-19 continues to change consumer behavior. 

While some industries are experiencing a severe decrease in demand, it appears that so far clothing and accessory eCommerce store demand remains strong. 

Barilliance is built to help eCommerce stores maximize store traffic by personalizing experiences, increasing conversion rates, and driving repeat purchases. 

If you are interested on how Barilliance can help your eCommerce store, request a demo here. 

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