5 Trends Shaping the Online Fashion World

Source: Huffington Post, Jan 2012

1) Discovery.
As the number of online retailers continues to grow, customers are becoming increasingly overwhelmed when faced with so many options online. Previously, ‘discovery’ took the form of search and recommendation engines, powered by algorithms and customer data (e.g., Amazon’s recommendations based on your past searches). Today, however, it’s about discovering a category through the eyes of a trusted source: your best friend, Martha Stewart, or a blogger from Paris whose style you admire.

2) Personalization & subscription.
Subscription has long been a VC’s best friend. From a business model perspective, subscription is the ultimate home run. Cash comes in before you send the product out; next month’s revenues and lifetime value of a customer are much more predictable than in traditional e-commerce.

3) Online fitting tools.
As the offline to online shift in apparel sales continues, fit remains the key barrier to sale and the number one reason for returns.

4) Supply chain innovation.
Today’s fashion cycle is too long — the average time from runway to rack is 4-6 months — and traditional retail mark-ups are too high. …  One example is Warby Parker, which has turned the supply chain for prescription eyeglasses on its head. By vertically integrating the design, production, and distribution components of the business, Warby Parker has redefined the luxury eyewear market by offering fashion-forward prescription eyewear for $95.

5) Peer-to-peer sales.

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