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  • Published In : Jan 2024
  • Code : CMI6497
  • Pages :160
  • Formats :
      Excel and PDF
  • Industry : Smart Technologies

The UK Fashion E-commerce market size was at US$ 31.19 billion in 2023 and is expected to reach US$ 85.51 billion by 2030, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.5% from 2023 to 2030. The market comprises of the online sales of fashion products including clothing, footwear, accessories, jewelry, bags, and others. The growth is driven by increasing internet and smartphone penetration, convenience of online shopping, and growing popularity of fast fashion brands.

The UK Fashion E-commerce market is segmented based on product type, end user, price range, distribution channel, and region. By product type, the market is segmented into clothing, footwear, accessories, jewelry, bags, and others. The clothing segment accounted for the largest share of the UK Fashion E-commerce market in 2022. The growth in this segment is attributed to the rising demand for trendy and affordable fast fashion clothing among millennial and Gen Z consumers.

Analyst Viewpoint:

The UK Fashion E-commerce market continues to see strong growth driven by rising smartphone and internet penetration. Younger consumers are increasingly doing more of their shopping online which is boosting sales of apparel, footwear and accessories digitally. The pandemic has further accelerated this trend with people spending more time indoors and making most of their purchases virtually. One of the major opportunities for retailers is to improve their mobile interfaces and apps to benefit from this shift in consumer behavior.

London remains the dominant region in the UK Fashion E-commerce space given the high density of population and spending power. However, other cities like Manchester and Birmingham are emerging as high growth centers. Online players will need to strengthen their presence outside of London to capitalize on opportunities in regional hubs. Offering click & collect options and enhancing delivery networks may help brand penetrate tier 2 and 3 cities more effectively.

High returns rate poses a restraint for retailers as it drives up reverse logistics expenses. Building virtual and augmented reality features that can help customers 'try before buying' and reduce returns could be a strategy to overcome this challenge. Competition from global players like ASOS and Zalando also intensifies pressure on domestic brands to innovate constantly on the product and customer experience front to retain consumers.

UK Fashion E-commerce Market Drivers:

Convenience and Flexibility: The convenience and flexibility offered by online fashion shopping is a major driver of the UK Fashion E-commerce market. Busy lifestyles have led consumers to appreciate the ability to shop from anywhere, anytime on their smartphones, tablets, or computers. Ecommerce offers consumers a seamless experience to browse, compare products, and place orders with just a few clicks. Online shopping saves the time and effort of travelling to physical stores. Customers also have the flexibility to return products easily that do not fit well or meet expectations. The hassle-free and personalized shopping experience provided by online fashion retailers continues to attract consumers.

Rise in Internet and Smartphone Penetration: The increasing internet and smartphone penetration among the UK consumers has led to the rapid growth of the online fashion industry. High-speed mobile internet enable consumers to conveniently browse and shop for fashion products on the go. Smartphones allow customers to shop 24/7 at their comfort. Rising ownership of internet-enabled devices like smartphones, tablets and laptops provide consumers access to online fashion stores from any location. According to estimates, there will be over 53 million smartphone users in the U.K. by 2025. This presents a significant growth opportunity for fashion e-tailers.

Influence of Social Media: The popularity of social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok is driving the growth of the U.K. online fashion industry. Fashion brands leverage social media for marketing campaigns, promotions, and influencing customers’ purchase decisions. Many customers discover new fashion trends on social media and directly purchase styles promoted by influencers online. The rise of social media fashion influencers who create content on latest styles and trends has supported the market growth. Retailers also run targeted ads on social media to reach customers.

Rising Online Spending: The U.K. has one of the highest internet retailing penetration rates globally. Over the years, U.K. consumers have rapidly adopted online shopping across categories. Fashion is one of the most popular ecommerce categories. The COVID-19 pandemic further accelerated the shift to online channels, with consumers forced to shop digitally. According to Office for National Statistics (ONS) are the UK’s largest independent producer of official statistics and its recognized national statistical institute, online sales accounted for 27% of total U.K. retail sales in January 2021, indicating the dominance of ecommerce. U.K. consumers are highly comfortable purchasing fashion products through digital channels today.

UK Fashion E-commerce Market Opportunities:

Technology Innovation: The UK Fashion E-commerce market is poised for a transformative shift as a recent study by Vogue Business in collaboration with Snap Inc unveils a significant demand for augmented reality (AR) solutions among luxury fashion consumers. A staggering 72% of respondents, comprising 1,100 individuals aged 16-65, emphasized the importance of brands incorporating AR into their shopping experiences. The survey, conducted in April 2023 by Vogue Business, an online fashion industry publication, highlights a burgeoning trend wherein consumers anticipate an increased reliance on AR over the next one to three years. This presents a unique opportunity for fashion brands and retailers to capitalize on this growing demand, with styling and wardrobe consultations ranking as the most sought-after AR experience. Additionally, exploring runway collections, accessing care and repair tutorials, and immersive brand storytelling through AR are identified as promising avenues, underlining the potential for innovative and engaging AR-driven features in the UK Fashion E-commerce market.

The Rise of Sustainable Fashion in UK E-commerce: The UK Fashion E-commerce market is set to witness a pioneering opportunity with the exclusive debut of the "UK Fashion for a Sustainable Future" pop-up gallery. Scheduled to unfold from September 30th to December 31st, 2021, on YOOXYGEN, YOOX's dedicated platform for sustainable products, this one-time project features brands of varying sizes, origins, and founder ages united by an unwavering commitment to sustainability. Positioned within The Road to COP26 initiative, held at UK House Villa Necchi Campiglio from September 29th to October 1st, and integrated into the official All4Climate Italy 2021 programme endorsed by the Italian Ministry for Ecological Transition, this collaboration between an international luxury e-commerce platform and the government symbolizes a unique opportunity to engage a global audience of young consumers. The initiative not only showcases diverse sustainable brands but also aims to influence positive buying behavior, marking a significant stride in the intersection of sustainability and UK fashion ecommerce.

Omnichannel Approach: Many customers still value an in-store experience for factors like trial rooms. Adopting an omnichannel strategy presents an opportunity for fashion e-tailers to integrate their physical and digital channels. Many UK fashion retailers are now offering services like click-and-collect, in-store returns of online purchases, virtual trial rooms, and in-store screens for browsing products. Omnichannel retail provides customers the flexibility to shop seamlessly via any channel, enhancing the experience.

Personalization: Use of Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics presents the opportunity for U.K. online fashion retailers to offer personalized experiences to each customer. Features like recommending products based on past purchases, size preferences and style profiles help retailers provide an individualized shopping experience. Personalized promotions, customized product recommendations and tailored advertisements help build loyalty. Offering personalized experiences both online and in-store can be a differentiating factor.

UK Fashion E-commerce Market Report Coverage

Report Coverage Details
Base Year: 2022 Market Size in 2023: US$ 31.19 Bn
Historical Data for: 2017 to 2021 Forecast Period: 2023 - 2030
Forecast Period 2023 to 2030 CAGR: 15.5% 2030 Value Projection: US$ 85.51 Bn
Geographies covered:
  • U.K.
Segments covered:
  • By Product Type: Clothing, Footwear, Accessories, Jewelry, Bags, and Others
  • By End User: Men, Women, Kids, Unisex, Plus Size, Pet Fashion, and Others
  • By Price Range: Premium, Mid-Range, Economy, Luxury, Super Luxury, Discount/Value Retail, and Others
  • By Distribution Channel: Online Only, Omnichannel, Brick and Mortar Only, Department Stores, Specialty Stores, Direct to Consumer, and Others
Companies covered:

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

Growth Drivers:
  • Rising internet and smartphone penetration
  • Convenience and flexibility of online shopping
  • Influence of social commerce and social media
  • Increasing online spending and adoption of ecommerce
Restraints & Challenges:
  • Delivery issues and high logistics costs
  • Security and privacy concerns
  • Low brand loyalty and lack of personalized experience

UK Fashion E-commerce Market Trends:

  • Rising smartphone usage: In the contemporary era dominated by the internet and skyrocketing smartphone usage, the landscape of e-commerce, particularly in the UK Fashion E-commerce market, has undergone a transformative shift. The surge in mobile commerce (m-commerce) is reshaping dynamics within the industry, with forecasts indicating that retail sales from m-commerce in the United Kingdom are poised to exceed the significant milestone of 100 billion British pounds by 2024. This trend aligns seamlessly with the widespread adoption of mobile devices, as nearly 100 percent of individuals aged 16 to 24 in the UK were smartphone owners in 2022. As a consequence, the intersection of mobile technology and fashion e-commerce is becoming increasingly integral, showcasing a pivotal trend where accessibility and convenience converge, and shaping the future trajectory of the UK Fashion E-commerce market.
  • Voice Commerce: Voice commerce is an emerging shopping trend, allowing customers to use voice assistants for online shopping. Voice assistant devices like Amazon Alexa provide a hands-free and convenient way to place orders. UK retailers can tap this trend by making their site’s voice assistant enabled. Customers will be able to add items to carts and complete purchases through simple voice commands in the future. Voice search is also growing, allowing consumers to use voice to search for fashion products.
  • Video Commerce: Video commerce is on the rise with young consumers increasingly using platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok for fashion inspiration. Many online retailers are leveraging videos for styling tips, fashion tutorials, product demonstrations and behind-the-scenes content. Shoppable video ads and livestreams enable direct purchase of featured products. Interactive video shopping experiences provide engagement and help drive conversions. The use of videos is expected to continue rising in online fashion retail.
  • Social Commerce: Social commerce is a fast-growing Fashion E-commerce trend. Social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat have launched in-app checkout and shop features, enabling users to shop directly through social apps and posts. Retailers have also added social buying options allowing shoppers to seek opinions from friends before purchase. Tools like shoppable livestreams and post tags drive social commerce. As social media becomes more transactional, social commerce will gain traction in online fashion.

UK Fashion E-commerce Market Restraints:

  • Delivery Issues: Delivery related issues pose a major restraint for U.K. Fashion E-commerce. Customers expect fast and reliable delivery at low costs. However, factors like poor logistics infrastructure in some areas, inefficient processes, returns and exchanges can negatively impact delivery experiences. Delayed shipments or damaged, inaccurate orders can discourage consumers from repeat purchases. Investing in delivery capabilities is essential for retailers to overcome this barrier.
  • Security and Privacy Concerns: Despite growth, security and privacy concerns regarding the safety of online payments and personal data continue to make some consumers wary of Fashion E-commerce. Instances of online fraud, phishing scams and hacking make shoppers apprehensive about risks like theft of financial information. Retailers need to implement robust cybersecurity measures, assure customers about transaction safety, and ensure compliance with regulations around data protection to build trust.
  • High Logistics Costs: The logistics costs associated with operating Fashion E-commerce are quite high. Costs include warehousing, inventory management, packaging, shipping, and potential returns processing. These reduce profit margins, especially when trying to offer conveniences like next day delivery. Order values in fashion tend to be lower compared to categories like electronics. Optimizing supply chains and logistics will be key for the profitability and growth of Fashion E-commerce.

Recent Developments

New product launches

  • In May 2021, a online fast fashion retailer, Boohoo launched a new sustainable ready-to-wear collection made using recycled polyester. The move aligns with the company's aim to build a more sustainable business.
  • In September 2020, Asos which is a online fashion and cosmetic retailer launched its first circular fashion collection in partnership with the Centre for Sustainable Fashion. The collection featured long-lasting pieces made using recycled fabrics.
  • In February 2020, Zalando launched its dedicated Pre-Owned category to promote circular fashion. Customers can buy and sell secondhand fashion items.

Acquisition and partnerships

  • On October, 31, 2023, Shein, the ultra-fast fashion giant, has made a bold move by acquiring Missguided, a struggling U.K.-based brand. This strategic acquisition marks several firsts for Shein: its entry into the U.K. through a brand purchase, and its potential to become a major player in the highly competitive apparel landscape.
  • In February 2021, Asos has confirmed its acquisition of Arcadia's brands, including Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge, and HIIT, in a deal that will generate over US$ 380.07 million for Philip Green's insolvent group's creditors. As part of the transaction, Asos will pay US$ 335.73 million for the brands and an additional US$ 38.01million for existing inventory while honoring US$ 44.34 million in forward purchase orders. Approximately 300 of Arcadia's 13,000 employees will transition to Asos, primarily in design and product-related roles. Notably, the deal excludes Arcadia's 70 stores, including the flagship Topshop store on Oxford Street.
  • In June 2020, online fast fashion retailer Boohoo acquired the online operations of Oasis and Warehouse, expanding its portfolio of brands targeting a slightly older demographic

Figure 1. UK Fashion E-commerce Market Share (%), by Product Type, 2023


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Top Companies in the UK Fashion E-commerce Market

  • ASOS
  • Boohoo
  • Next
  • Very
  • Marks & Spencer
  • John Lewis
  • New Look
  • H&M
  • Zalando
  • Amazon Fashion
  • Primark
  • Topshop
  • River Island
  • Missguided
  • PrettyLittleThing
  • JD Sports
  • Farfetch
  • Gymshark
  • Reiss
  • AllSaints

Definition: The UK Fashion E-commerce market refers to the online retail sales of clothing, footwear, accessories, jewelry, bags, and other fashion products in the U.K It covers the business to consumer sales of fashion goods and products through ecommerce channels such as company owned websites, marketplaces, and mobile apps. The market has grown rapidly over the past decade driven by factors like rising internet and smartphone adoption, busy lifestyles, and the convenience of online shopping.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The factors hampering the growth of the UK Fashion E-commerce market are delivery issues, security and privacy concerns, and high logistics costs.

The major factors driving the UK fashion ecommerce market growth are convenience and flexibility, rising internet and smartphone penetration, influence of social media, and rising online spending.

Clothing is the leading component in the product type segment in the UK Fashion E-commerce market.

The major players operating in the UK Fashion E-commerce market are ASOS, Boohoo, Next, Very, Marks & Spencer, John Lewis, New Look, H&M, Zalando, Amazon Fashion, Primark, Topshop, River Island, Missguided, PrettyLittle Thing, JD Sports, Farfetch, Gymshark, Reiss, and AllSaints among others.

The CAGR of the UK Fashion E-commerce market is expected to be 15.5% from 2023 to 2030.

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