Survey: Fashion retailers unprepared for holidays amid COVID-19

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Survey: Fashion retailers unprepared for holidays amid COVID-19

By Dan Berthiaume - 09/11/2020
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Fashion retailers are concerned about how COVID-19 may affect holiday sales, with many unsure how to prepare.
 
Nearly half (47%) of fashion retailers feel unprepared for the holidays, according to a recent PayPal/Netfluential survey. And while 22% of fashion retailers said their future depends on holiday sales, 47% have not adjusted their e-commerce approach since the start of COVID-19, despite a consumer shift toward online shopping. 

In addition, while consumers, many still working at home, have shifted to casual clothing that emphasizes comfort over style since the outbreak of COVID-19, 65% of fashion retailers said they have not introduced any new products in response to the pandemic. And 72% said they have no plans to do so.

More than half (52%) of respondents said they are unsure whether in-person shoppers will use fitting rooms, so many fashion respondents are creating online alternatives. Popular options include virtual fit or sizing tools (26%), virtual showrooms (23%), and virtual stylists (23%).

Other interesting findings include:
•    42% of fashion respondents agree that “buy now, pay later” options can help combat shopping cart abandonment and 31% say they help increase sales;
•    There has been a 27% increase in sales of fashion tops, while sales of pants and skirts are down nearly the same proportion (30%).
•    46% of fashion respondents who sell “fast fashion” items—those that are replicated quickly and inexpensively from runways, often at the expense of the environment—have reported a decrease in customer purchases. 

“Online shopping has been steadily growing over the past several years, but we have seen a massive acceleration during the pandemic,” said Greg Lisiewski, VP and GM of global pay later products at PayPal. “This is a coming-of-age for e-commerce, and it’s here to stay well past the pandemic.”