e-commerce mobile

Fashion beats computers to biggest share of US e-spend for first time

Our smartphone addiction is helping to drive e-sales upwards, says ComScore
Our smartphone addiction is helping to drive e-sales upwards, says ComScore. Image via

It’s official, shoppers spent more money online on fashion than on computer hardware for the first time last year. Well, American shoppers did, making fashion now the biggest e-commerce category in the US, with the rise of m-commerce and free shipping deals helping to push the growth.

Consumers bought $51.5bn of fashion goods online in 2015 compared to $49.9bn spent on computers, tablets and accessories.

It’s worth pointing out though that ComScore, the specialist that tracks online activity and that provided the figures, includes the expected clothes, shoes and bags in its fashion category but also adds-in make-up.

OK, I’m sure you can see some issues with these figures. After all, if make-up was stripped out of the fashion category and mobile phones were added-into the computer category (which would be fair given that we all go online via mobile these days), the picture would have been very different.

But it does show just how important fashion (and beauty) is/are to overall e-commerce growth.

ComScore said that digital sales for fashion and for computers both grew last year, but fashion was up 19% with the aforementioned free shipping and m-commerce being key. That makes sense – the option of not having to pay for shipping a couple of shirts or a dress, and being able to order them quickly from your smartphone seems very appealing. It might not be as relevant/appealing when spending $500 on a piece of computer equipment. As a result, e-spending on computers only rose 5.3%.

ComScore’s Ada Lella said people are getting more comfortable with making “small purchases” online and that the percentage of e-sales with free shipping is growing.

But what’s also growing fast is the percentage of e-sales via mobile. Shopping from phones and tablets rose to $15.6bn in Q4 of 2015 compared to $10.7bn a year earlier and this is benefitting items like T-shirts, jeans and lipstick rather than laptop computers or iPads.

In fact, ComScore said that mobile is the growth driver, and desktop (which includes laptops) is fast turning into a “secondary touchpoint” for a large percentage of US digital shoppers.

ComScore says mobile now accounts for 65% with apps key to that usage. Not that desktop/laptop is on the way out as the majority of transactions still take place there as the $15.6bn m-commerce figure shows.

What it all highlights is that omnichannel is key. OK, I hear you say, we know that! But do we really? Many companies still focus on desktop as the main channel for their investment spend. And while many also put money into mobile and apps, I’m shocked at how often I see references to this being a cost-effective investment because it’s “cheap”.

This post first appeared on, a style-meets-business blog by journalist, trends specialist and business analyst, Sandra Halliday

social media

Social media by the numbers: the big fashion week trends


With the autumn/winter 2016 fashion week season now behind us, it’s time to run the numbers, crunch the stats and crown the social media winners and losers of the month.

Or try to…

Conflicting data and contradictory reports on brand statistics are published daily during New York, London, Milan and Paris, making it increasingly difficult to compose an accurate picture of exactly what’s what. But, equally they enable lots of thought around social media trends in general and which way the industry is moving with what it uses, favours and finds the most success on.

Given the hot debate currently underway around whether designers should move to in-season, consumer-facing shows or not, lots of this sort of information counts. So here’s a breakdown of what you need to know:

Instagram continued to dominate

During New York Fashion Week (NYFW), 427,000 images were shared on Instagram, generating more than 113 million social engagements (likes and comments), according to Traeger Communications. Year-on-year, this is a 47% increase in images and a 30% increase in engagements, proving that Instagram continues to be a powerful medium for brands that want to join in the fashion week conversation. Natalie Massenet, chairman of the British Fashion Council (BFC) added during London Fashion Week (LFW)’s launch that “97% of the BFC’s designers questioned in a survey were on Instagram”.

Designers embraced Snapchat to reach Generation Z

Snapchat exploded across fashion month, hitting all four fashion weeks in a big way. Social media uptake usually filters down through New York and London before reaching Milan and Paris a couple of seasons later, but the fashion industry couldn’t afford to ignore this trend. New designers joining included Tommy Hilfiger, Marc Jacobs, Mulberry, Gucci, Dior and more. “11% of social media activity around Paris Fashion Week (PFW) was attributed to Generation Z,” reported influencer engagement platform Zoomph, pointing in the direction of Snapchat particularly. Keen to establish brand loyalty with the next generation of consumers (Gen Z is considered to be anyone born after the mid-late 90s), brands used Snapchat to reach this sought after demographic where they already live. Snapchat’s core users are 13-24 years old.

Twitter is still relevant but sees less engagement

Contradicting general consensus, Zoomph reported that 98% of social media activity relating to PFW was on Twitter and only 2% on Instagram. Business intelligence firm L2 reported a similar trend during the Tommy Hilfiger show at NYFW. The designer posted 51 images on Instagram compared to 197 tweets. Mind you, much of that may be to do with the nature of the platform – fast-paced comments versus more considered images. Backing that is the fact that Tommy’s posts converted into 920,528 likes and comments on Instagram, while the larger number of posts on Twitter only saw a total of 30,971 likes and retweets in return.

Facebook lost ground but innovative product appeals

The social media platform largely associated with Millennials continued to fall out of favour with the fashion crowd. Facebook activity surrounding NYFW has declined year-on-year since 2014 according to the L2 report. The pay-to-play nature of the platform is said to be the reason why, with brands instead opting to focus resources elsewhere. Facebook is however experimenting in new spaces in a bid to garner renewed attention. Its Facebook 360 product allows users to experience virtual content first-hand by controlling the rotation on it themselves. Refinery 29 shot eight shows at NYFW using the immersive technology.

Others opted for a digital detox

While that debate rages on around fashion weeks transforming into consumer-facing events, others have been rejecting social media altogether. This season, Massimo Giorgetti banned social media from his MSGM show at Milan Fashion Week MFW) for instance, suggesting guests simply enjoy the show instead of watching it through their smartphones. A number of others did the same including Jacquemus in Paris and Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen’s brand The Row in New York. Belstaff also didn’t allow photographs to be taken of its capsule collection with Liv Tyler in London.

Luxury brands were outpaced by savvy collaborations

If they weren’t banning it, they were doing the total opposite and teaming up with celebs in order to hit the biggest numbers of social media instead. Rihanna modelling her own Fenty x Puma collection for instance caused an enormous stir with 140,000 tweets being posted about it, according to Amobee Brand Intelligence. That was nearly 100,000 more than Ralph Lauren achieved in the same time period (47,000) and almost double that of Michael Kors (71,000). By comparison, Kanye West opened NYFW at Madison Square Gardens with his Yeezy season 3 collection to an audience of 18,000. On social media that generated 800,000 tweets.

Supermodels and influencers ruled

Once again the choice of models taking to the catwalk also appeared to be just as important as the clothes on show. High-profile names including Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner shared backstage insights with their own millions of followers – the former also doing a stellar job launching Tommy Hilfiger’s Snapchat account. A shot of the duo swapping hair colours for Balmain also exploded, generating the brand 144,000 likes and 3,500 comments. At NYFW, of the top 10 Instagram images by total engagements, eight were taken by models and influencers, including models and social influencers Jay Alvarrez and Alexis Ren, as well as Russian YouTube influencer Kate Clapp, according to data from Traeger Communications.

Kim killed it… again

One step ahead of younger sis Kendall was publicity machine Kim Kardashian West – who once again topped the social media leader boards across multiple platforms. Her promotion of the NYFW official app garnered nearly 800,000 engagements and was the most-successful image on Instagram during NYFW for instance. Kim also won Paris by posting a number of throwback images from the AW15 season as well as a controversial-yet-censored naked shot of herself that commanded a hefty 1.6 million likes.

Blocks social media

Burberry won in the Twitter stakes this #LFW


Burberry beat out Topshop on Twitter this London Fashion Week season thanks to the introduction of its #Tweetcam initiative.

The British heritage brand more than doubled the 8,000 tweets attached to its September show, hitting a huge 19,000 mentions between February 20 and 24, according to social analytics company SocialBro.

Its #Tweetcam campaign, which provided fans with a personalised, automated image live from the show in response to tweeting to the brand with the hashtag, generated 7,220 tweets alone.

Topshop meanwhile received 6,100 tweets during the same time period tied to both its show and its #livetrends campaign run in conjunction with Twitter.


Blocks data e-commerce social media

#LFW in numbers: 35 stats to know now


We love us some stats. Here’s a great list released by the British Fashion Council ahead of the start of London Fashion Week tomorrow:

  • £46bn total contribution from the UK fashion industry (including indirect support for supply chain industries and induced spending of employees’ wages)
  • £26bn direct contribution to the UK economy from the UK fashion industry (up from £21bn in 2009)
  • £10.7bn spent on fashion online in the UK (expected to reach £19bn by 2019)
  • £160m media coverage on LFW each season
  • £100m of orders placed during LFW each season
  • 797,000 jobs supported by the UK fashion industry
  • 329,800 mentions of #LFW on Twitter during LFW SS15 in September
  • 120,000 images tagged #LFW on Instagram during LFW SS15
  • 32,000 miles driven between shows by Mercedes Benz chauffeurs
  • 30,000 Lavazza espressos served and 200kg of Lavazza coffee beans used
  • 25,000 bottles of Fiji Water drunk at LFW AW15
  • 16,862 miles travelled by the House of Holland and H by Hakaan Yildirim collections from London to Tokyo, Turkey to London and back by DHL
  • 10,000 hours spent on mentoring LFW designers through BFC initiatives over the last year
  • 5,376 bags of Propercorn eaten
  • 5,000 visitors are expected to attend including buyers, journalists, bloggers, broadcast crews and photographers
  • 5,000 glasses of Scavi & Ray served
  • 3,000 ES Deluxe magazines read
  • 200 makeovers in the Maybelline Lounge
  • 196 countries watched LFW live streams during LFW SS15
  • 190 designers in the Designer Showrooms: including UK and international, emerging and established, ready-to- ?wear and accessories
  • 150 press and buyers staying at the May Fair Hotel
  • 94% of Twitter users aware of LFW and 74% have an interest in LFW
  • 80 Penhaligon’s candles burnt
  • 78 designers showing on schedule this season: 55 catwalk shows and 23 presentations
  • 78% of guests attending LFW plan on tweeting during the event
  • 70% of UK internet users buy clothing and footwear online
  • 61 countries represented by guests at LFW
  • 52 limited edition Swatch watches on-site
  • 51 seconds to walk the length of the catwalk in the BFC Courtyard Show Space
  • 35 hair appointments in the TONI&GUY blow out bar at Somerset House each day
  • 20 American Express Insiders wearing uniforms designed by Osman
  • 20 designers gifted a selection of shapewear and seamless lingerie by Triumph
  • 10 exclusive items designed for eBay (all under £100) available at
  • 9 large scale digital outdoor screens live streaming the Hunter Original show in cities such as London, ?Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow in partnership with Ocean Outdoor
  • 1 Lavazza airstream café designed by Christopher Raeburn
data digital snippets e-commerce film mobile social media technology

Digital snippets: Selfridges, Prada, Victoria’s Secret, Gap, Asos, Lancôme, Valentino

A highlight of the top stories surrounding all things fashion and digital of late:


  • Drive-through Dior? Coming right up at Selfridges London [CN Traveler]
  • Wes Anderson debuts latest Prada feature [Fashionotes]
  • Victoria’s Secret creates 3D-printed angel wings for fashion models [Huffington Post]
  • Gap rolls out “reserve in store” service [CNBC]
  • Valentino jumps in on China’s high-tech runway revolution [JingDaily]
  • Under Armour looks to take a bite out of FuelBand success with MapMyFitness acquisition [BrandChannel]
  • Pinterest opens API to retail partners [TechCrunch]
  • Google’s Eric Schmidt invests in retail tech designed to help personalisation and data measurement [WWD]
  • Here’s why ‘The Internet of Things’ will be huge, and drive tremendous value for people and businesses [Business Insider]
  • Why companies desperately need to make wearables cool [Wired]
  • How brands get shoppers to volunteer their personal data: transparency and better experiences [PSFK]
  • Social media drives less than 1% of shopping sessions, study says [Fashionista]
  • Fashion retailers are still failing to optimise email marketing for mobile [Econsultancy]
  • What retailers can learn from mobile commerce in the UK []
  • 15 stats that show why click-and-collect is so important for retailers [Econsultancy]

Note: Look out for a separate holiday-specific digital round-up later this week, featuring all the top retail campaign stories as well as insights into the biggest innovations being pushed for the festive season.


Social stats from #LFW

This London Fashion Week was the most social yet, with over 225,000 online conversations, according to insights firm Precise.

It almost goes without saying the volume of chatter would be up on previous seasons, but it’s good to see that figure has reportedly almost doubled in a year. Better yet, over 95% of the posts overall were positive.

A few more interesting stats:

  • Burberry led the way with over 21,000 mentions on Twitter, Facebook and blogs. Referenced in over one third of them however, was the presence of One Direction pop star Harry Styles
  • Topshop meanwhile garnered 10,000 mentions, followed by Vivienne Westwood with 3,000
  • Lady Gaga’s appearance at Philip Treacy’s show generated over 5,000 mentions in association with LFW, while Treacy himself only attracted 3,000
  • When it comes to emerging labels, the two winners on social were Mary Katrantzou with over 2,700 comments, and House of Holland, with over 2,500

*Precise’s research is based on keyword analysis of every English language social media post created during LFW, followed by a qualitative examination of a sample of posts

e-commerce Uncategorized

Topshop show generates over 200m exposures

The Topshop Unique show held during London Fashion Week yesterday promised to offer consumers a social, customisable and shoppable experience through its live-stream on

The result? A reported 2m people tuning in from over 100 countries across multiple platforms and devices.

Here’s a summary of some of the rest of the facts and stats from the event:

  • A total of 200m people were said to be exposed to images and content from the show, in the main because of its “shoot the Show” tie-up with Facebook, which allowed consumers to share images straight from their video stream
  • #TOPSHOP and #UNIQUE both trended globally on Twitter thanks to live-streaming through the platform for the first ever time, and a “tweet-off” invented by Topshop asking for followers to send in 140-character reviews
  • Topshop also partnered with Elle magazine for a Tweetwalk that saw images shared live from backstage over Twitter on both accounts moments before they hit the runway
  • The result saw clicked on by over 120 countries
  • More traffic was generated to the site from the USA on one day than in its entire history. This was highlighted as particularly exciting in a week were the brand has opened 15 new stores in the country through a partnership with department store Nordstorm
  • The “Customise the Catwalk” shoppable element of the initiative resulted in pieces selling out from the new collection within an hour
  • Make-up products were also purchased during every minute of the show