In a turn from mostly dismal quarterly reports, a new study says apparel sales are emerging from the dark zone.
This year, global apparel sales are expected to exceed $1.4 trillion as the market starts to show signs of recovery, according to China-based e-commerce and digital marketing company SinoInteractive.
The U.S. market is expected to represent one fifth of that total, or $300 billion, with women’s apparel sales set to reach 40 percent of total apparel sales worldwide.
SinoInteractive’s findings for apparel are contrary to Moody’s move to downgrade its forecast for U.S. retail from positive to stable, predicting sales growth of just 2-3 percent thanks mostly to earnings pressure from apparel and footwear.
But what SinoInterative says is driving the upturn is that some retailers are finally shifting to accommodate consumer’s changing habits. Some—e-commerce companies specifically—are adjusting their pricing strategies to bend to the consumer.
Globalegrow, a leading apparel e-commerce supplier in China has developed a pricing system that calculates the most reasonable prices based on shoppers’ purchasing habits, the product’s popularity in the region and currency exchange rates, among other things.
Women, who happen to be the most important contributors to overall apparel sales, are becoming increasingly price sensitive, according to the report, which found that 54.6% of women ages 18 to 35 in America buy their clothes online and point to the price-performance ratio as the most important factor influencing their decision.
Consumers also want personalized product, whether it’s accessories in custom colors, monikers added here and there or simply changing basic details of the garment to make it tailored to the shopper’s likes.
In answer to that trend, Globalegrow has a customer service team dedicated to conducted consumer surveys incentivized with prize giveaways to learn more about shoppers’ buying habits and to draw conclusions based on big data to adjust service strategies to accommodate personalization demands.