Clothing retailers in the West are launching major
e-commerce initiatives this quarter, taking advantage of improved consumer spending and more comfort among consumers with online shopping. For instant Gant, an international fashion brand that already operates e-commerce portals in the UK and Sweden, is building an expanded worldwide online shopping platform beginning with a US launch in the first quarter of 2011. Closer home, most big retail chains and many apparel brands are relying on e-commerce in a big way. In fact, now even mid level Indian brands have realized the importance of e-commerce and are opting for it as a part of their expansion plans.
Consumers are shedding the hesitations that once were common about online shopping. All the prejudices that existed before – privacy and other concerns – are gone. More fashion brands are selling their clothing online. Retailers are using e-commerce platforms with new capabilities. These platforms link with consumers on Facebook and on mobile devices and integrate with loyalty programs, product ratings and review functions.
Keeping up with the trend, Adidas-owned footwear brand Rockport is planning to relaunch its e-commerce site this month with enhanced customer profiles and ratings and reviews. Likewise Sports apparel brand Lululemon Athletica will launch a major e-commerce upgrade in the first quarter of 2011 and will hire an executive to run its online shopping operations. Women’s clothing retailer Ann Taylor also plans to launch an e-commerce platform early this year. In fact, retailers are also improving the scale of their e-commerce offerings, in an effort to provide the real-time visibility of store-level inventory to the consumer.