With an apparel market value of 34.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2020, the segment generating the most revenue was fashion. Fashion items were the most popular category among online shoppers in 2019. Aside from major general retailers such as Amazon, fashion and retail giants Vente-privee or Zalando have started to assert their omnipresence in meeting the needs of the trendy consumer.
The fashion trade has reinforced itself through generalist auction platforms or marketplaces in recent years. With around 30 percent of the French population aware of current environmental and social issues, a shift in consumerism and shopping platforms is observed. Engaging in collaborative consumption, specialized fashion marketplaces such as Vinted.fr offer private sellers and buyers transparent solutions to the multiple life cycles of an item of clothing. In 2019, 32 percent of women and 11 percent of men confirmed having sold unworn clothing through the internet, a growing alternative to traditional donations.
With 22 percent of the French population looking for fashion inspiration online, apps and the active use of mobile phones have allowed brands to build stronger personalities, which encourages better customer engagement and retention. Social networks give brands and especially influencers a platform to use their loyal follower base to sell. In 2019, the main target group of social media shopping channels were women, with 75 percent following fashion influencers. On Facebook and Instagram e-commerce, retail and fashion had the most interactions of brand pages, underlining the usefulness of social media for fashion.
Selling through platforms like Instagram has become possible, but not without a shift in payment and delivery services. According to the average spending amount of an online purchase in 2019, which amounted to 60 euros, most online shoppers used their credit card and online payment services. As cashless payment is considered to be the next step in the history of currencies, online banks and peer-to-peer payment systems like PayPal will continue to contribute to the pace and security of online transactions.
Just like the term "fast fashion", which describes inexpensive designs that move quickly from the catwalk to stores, payment and delivery should ideally be fast and inexpensive too, according to the consumer. With an average of 3 to 5 days in which the buyer finds it bearable to wait for a delivery, Amazon has found sufficient incentives through large depot warehouses, which allow stocked products to be sent within the day of ordering. In fact, the Amazon Prime delivery subscription was the most popular one amongst French online shoppers in 2018.