The world is working hard to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. As of 16th June 2020, there were 8,322,819 cases recorded, and 447,710 lives lost globally in this battle. The pandemic hit the United States the hardest. The U.S. record to date is 2,217,902 cases and 119,342 deaths. The virus spread rate is beginning to slowly fall which is a great positive sign. Local lockdowns, social distancing, and hard work from the frontline heroes of this battle — healthcare workers, security personnel, and other essential workers have shepherded us toward bouncing back. Kudos to all the heroes out there who never allowed universal hope of a normalized world to completely fall apart.
The silver lining, as the pandemic’s black cloud lingers, is our collective determination to get back to some normalcy. People and governments are finding ways to live alongside COVID-19. With courage and cautious optimism, many are encouraging people to find ways to start getting on with their lives. One sign of this intent is how sales and demand are picking up for the online apparel and fashion industry.
Revenue and Sales Growth Rate for Apparel & Accessories
We at GrowByData analyzed the 2020 market performance data of our nearly 100 apparel & accessories clients and compared it with the same period in 2019. Our analysis showed COVID-19 has had a heavy impact on this year’s online sales compared to last year, as shown in the graph below. Our data shows a 36% drop in sales this March compared to March 2019. The average revenue growth rate compared to 2019 for April and May is -28% and -19% respectively.
The April and May 2020 numbers show encouraging signs despite lagging 2019 overall. The graph below shows revenue growth for retailers in Amazon and Direct website sales. The 2020 spring/summer sales seem to be picking up now with a total average growth rate of 21% and 37% (combining Amazon and Direct website sales) for the industry. Sales drastically fell to -37% in March from 28% in February due to COVID-19 hitting the country hard.
Our data shows a 36% drop in sales this March compared to March 2019.
Online Search Demand for Fashion Products
Google Trends showed that the online search demand for fashion products was in a bullish trend pre-COVID-19. It then dropped heavily when COVID-19 havoc started in March, as shown in the screenshots below. Now, typical popular items of Spring/Summer seasons, like hats, shorts, sunglasses, and shirts, have seen online search demand pick up.
Price Intelligence Data of Apparel & Accessories
Looking at our Apparel and Accessories price intelligence data of 237,426 SKUs sold by around 29,419 sellers over the last five months of 2020, prices changed on a monthly average of 55% of SKUs, combining both Amazon and Direct websites. March saw the highest percentage of price change with 71% of SKUs. The average price changes dropped down to 55% of SKUs in April and 46% of SKUs in May.
As the total market share shrank with COVID-19, retailers focused on price competitiveness to win over customers. The average monthly SKU percentage where prices were lowered over the past five months is shown in the graph below. March saw the highest detected percentage price drop. It saw a price drop of 63% of SKUs in indirect websites and 70% of SKUs in Amazon.
Retailers should continue to focus on price competitiveness to win over customers!
The takeaway is – apparel & accessories industry was badly hit but is slowly recovering from the COVID-19 recession. Online search demand and sales for Apparel and Accessories are improving. As the demand picks up with shoppers opening their wallets again, we at GrowByData believe that eCommerce retailers should capitalize on this optimism by filling their summer inventory, actively doing dynamic pricing with their cluster of competitors, smartly advertising by pushing products with enriched titles to ad channels like Google and Amazon and bidding on products with the right prices.