The State of Online Fashion Part II: Who is the online Fashion Shopper and what sets them apart?

This article is Part I of a three-part series 'The State of Online Fashion in 2021'. 

Fashion is the biggest product category in e-commerce. Its shoppers buy far more than in any other product category. And as a result, Fashion’s growth sets the pace of e-commerce and often holds up overall development. But it is, due to its selective nature, also highly vulnerable. And the impact of seasonality leaves Fashion all the more exposed. Add to that a global pandemic and the vulnerability of Fashion’s immensely important position within e-commerce becomes even clearer – a relevance that we already describe in our analysis of online Fashion in June ’20. 

And now, AfterPay Insights is back with new analyses on the biggest product category of all. In a brand-new three-part series called 'The State of Online Fashion in 2021' we will not only discuss the effects of the pandemic on Fashion purchases in the Netherlands, Germany and Norway, but also look at the development of Fashion over the past eighteen months, sketch a profile of the Fashion Shopper (at least two online Fashion purchases per month) as well as their demands and expectations of the online shopping experience

In this second part of the series we sketch out the profile of the average online Fashion Shopper in the Netherlands, Germany and Norway. Who are they? How often do they buy online Fashion? How do they prefer to shop? Read on to find out.

Fashion Shoppers set the pace for e-commerce

Fashion Shoppers are heavier online shoppers compared than their non-Fashion Shopper counterparts: they shop online more and half of all their online purchases are in online Fashion. As a result, Fashion Shoppers are more experienced online shoppers.

One of the key reasons for their more evolved online shopping behavior is that Fashion Shoppers are on average five years younger than non-Fashion Shoppers. 25% of Fashion Shoppers are aged 18-29, and among non-Fashion Shoppers the size of the 18-29 age bracket is 18%. Fashion Shoppers are more likely to identify as female (66%) than non-Fashion Shoppers (45%).

This demographical profile of Fashion Shoppers also means that families with children are over-represented in the Fashion Shopper segment. Back in June 2020, we already established that the socio-demographic profile of the online Fashion Shopper had broadened to also encompass relatively families with children as well as consumers who identify as male and consumers living in city suburbs and mid-sized towns – likely a result of the forced shift to online as a result of the global pandemic. In August 2021, the online Fashion Shopper segment is similar in composition, although location has become a less important differentiating factor.

Another key differentiating characteristic of Fashion Shoppers is that they conduct a larger share of purchases on their smartphone compared to non-Fashion Shoppers. They also use Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) payment methods, and return products to a significantly larger extent than non-Fashion Shoppers. And from a product category perspective, Fashion Shoppers buy more in Cosmetics compared to non-Fashion Shoppers.



Looking at the size of these online Fashion segments vs their share of all online purchases, we can conclude that Fashion Shoppers drive overall online purchase development and set the pace for e-commerce. Zooming in on the differences per country, we see this reflected in the following statistics:

What is next? 

Coming up next is ‘The State of Online Fashion | Part III: Which demands do Fashion Shoppers have in 2021?’ Stay tuned!