From the latest runway trends to how people are consuming and purchasing apparel, the fashion industry is ever-evolving.  

The pandemic sparked massive change in countless industries, including fashion. With lockdown orders closing stores, more people starting buying clothes and shoes online. This increase in online shopping is expected to continue, with the global eCommerce fashion industry expected to reach $713 billion by 2022. [i] 

With increased demand comes increased competition. Global marketplaces and influential global brands are levelling up their eCommerce offerings, making the fashion industry more competitive and complex. Consumers hold the power, and brands need to monitor consumer trends to deliver. 

If you are a fashion brand on Shopify and hoping to experience explosive growth, you need to stay on top of current and projected trends. Don’t worry - we’ve got you covered. We’ve compiled the top 4 trends you need to know to succeed online in the fashion industry. 


1. Millennials are spending more on luxury apparel.

Millennials, the generation between the ages of 24 and 37, are well into their careers and reaching their peak spending potential. With higher incomes and fewer financial obligations, they have high discretionary income and are willing to spend it on luxury fashion. The Financial Times has dubbed the generation “the world’s more powerful consumers.”[ii]

Gucci can attest to this. Francois-Henri Pinault, the CEO of Gucci’s parent company Kering, said that nearly 50% of Gucci’s sales were from Millennials and Gen Z. This is a big feat! Not something many luxury brands have been able to execute, and have historically experienced difficulty penetrating. So, what did Gucci do differently? They appealed to Millennials through the hip-hop crowd and redefined luxury. 

Millennials are not impressed by high-end craftsmanship or exclusivity. Instead, they prioritize values and purpose (more on this in trend #3). As a fashion brand, focusing on Millennials can help you see greater levels of success. 


2. There has been a global shift towards casual streetwear.

 Gucci didn’t reach the hip-hop crowd through their well-crafted tuxedos and high-end craftsmanship. It was through their line of “ready-to-wear” streetwear. Several luxury brands have shifted to more casual streetwear, like hoodies, joggers and sneakers. Balenciaga, Dior and Fendi are just a few who have fully embraced the trend. 

 To further drive online sales and reach new markets, many of these big fashion brands have collaborated with renowned streetwear designers like the notable collections by Louis Vuitton x Supreme and Valentine X UNDERCOVER. 

 Streetwear is everywhere. It’s transcended influencer Instagram accounts and celebrity gossip magazines. It’s on runways, in music videos and adorning those most fashion conscious. Though not all luxury brands have made this move, there is no doubt that making the shift can create greater appeal for your brand. 


3.  Sustainability and green marketing are increasingly important.

 From Netflix documentaries to social media, the effect the fashion industry has had on the environment has become public knowledge. As a result, consumers are actively looking to see what brands are for the environment. Sustainability is increasingly important to consumers, and it should be for you too. More people, especially Millennials and Gen Z, look for brands that are sustainable and eco-friendly.   

 When it comes to sustainability, fashion brands are taking action towards protecting oceans, climate change, zero-carbon admissions, sustainably sourced materials, and ethical working conditions. It includes the product itself as well as how the item is shipping, including packaging materials. 

 Green marketing is the act of promoting your products and brand based on your sustainability and eco-friendly initiatives. If you source sustainable materials, or your recycled materials for your packaging let prospective customers know through green marketing.


4. Online return rates for fashion brands at a record high.

 This trend is also a threat for eCommerce fashion brands. High online return rates are one of the biggest pain points of fashion retailers, causing them to lose profitability. Due to the nature of the product, apparel and shoes are more likely to be returned. These rates are as high as 50% in some sectors, with more conservative estimates suggesting 30%.[iii]

 With flexible return and refund policies, research has found that many people are buying online with the full intention of returning some of the items after receiving them. This may mean buying the same item in multiple sizes so they can try them on at home and return the items that don’t fit. This significantly increases costs for you, the brand. Previous estimates suggested that by 2020 online returns cost $550 billion.[iv]

 Free returns and refunds are a driving feature for your fashion brand. Second only to free shipping, a flexible return policy is the reason many choose to shop with certain retailers. Fortunately, there are ways you can mitigate high online return rates. Reach out to us at Startup Slang to discover how you can combat high online return rates. We’ve worked with over 1500 Shopify merchants and can provide you with custom solutions to help your fashion brand experience the explosive growth you’re after. 

Need help setting up your fashion brand on Shopify? Startup Slang is here to help! Click on the logo below or contact us here



Startup Slang
We help brands grow by offering great creative services for businesses of all sizes. We offer more than just plug-and-play business solutions; with our years of expertise, we aim to be an accelerator program for eCommerce brands who want to take it to the next level.
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