This "Research Roundup" shares some fun observations from Shopify's recently released report "Fashion and Apparel Industry Report"
A few key takeaways to consider:
What: "...fashion and apparel [ecommerce sales] will increase at a compound annual rate of 10.6% from $408 billion in 2017 to more than $706 billion by 2022"
Why You Should Care: category and product agility (the ability to make moves quickly and easily to new products and categories) is the key for online retailers. Whereas 10.6% annual growth is below the standard 15% you might expect, it's still a healthy, growing segment to consider
What Can You Do About It: start small: find a source who has data (so you can list well) and return policies (returns are 50% or more!) to support your market test.
What: brand loyalty and technology are no longer meaningful barriers to market entry
Why You Should Care: the current industry players view this is a "threat" -- but as stated above, your agility is your advantage.
What Can You Do About It: see above -- test the market!
What: returns are as high as 50%
Why You Should Care: enter this market with eyes wide open -- the returns rate is high because of how difficult it is to know the product will work for the individual using the product. Until that problem is solved, expect your returns rates to be no different.
What Can You Do About It: establish a pricing model and operational procedures to support returns -- it will be your reality!