With nearly 70% of revenue coming from digital channels by 2025, apparel retailers need to improve their digital capabilities to drive growth, says Incisiv report


JACKSONVILLE, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As the apparel industry sought to regain its footing after a disastrous 2020, retailers that had invested in digital technologies before or at the start of the pandemic were faring much better financially, according to the Maturity Index Incisiv’s 2021 digital apparel, footwear and accessories, produced in partnership with Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES).

According to the report, the buying journey has changed forever and digital is now the starting point for more than 90% of buyers. Proving that the path to the purchase decision is no longer linear, 70% of traffic to apparel retailer websites comes from mobile devices. Nearly 70% of market sales now come from a digital platform.

Additional key takeaways from the report include:

  • In search and discovery, personalization and product recommendations saw the strongest growth in maturity. Retailers who added sections for cross-selling on the product page saw the highest growth at 60%.

  • In online ordering, the “buy now, pay later” trend has led the way with nearly 60% of retailers now offering this option. However, one of the most critical components of retail, inventory visibility, has barely progressed in terms of maturity.

  • In fulfillment, contactless and self-service pickup capabilities saw the strongest growth, while other pickup options such as in-store pickup and expedited pickup continue to lag the segments more mature in this area, such as groceries.

  • In customer service, communication channels such as SMS alert subscription and virtual assistants saw the highest growth (although still low at less than 35% adoption) and buyer engagement capabilities experienced the lowest year-over-year growth.

“The apparel industry has had to experience unprecedented disruption to its business models over the past 24 months. The segment is to be commended for how quickly it has adapted,” said Amarjot Mokha, Director of operating, Incisiv. “However, buyer behavior is a moving target, and the industry still needs to evolve to meet their expectations. We conduct this work to help retailers understand how they compare to their peers and to help identify high-impact improvement opportunities based on the complete digital buyer journey.

The Incisiv Digital Maturity Index examines key gaps and opportunities to improve the digital experience of these omnichannel shoppers, and shows which retailers currently offer the best omnichannel experience. Incisiv recognizes 21 retailers and brands as leaders, including Abercrombie & Fitch, Belk, DSW, Macy’s, Pacsun, Ralph Lauren and Target. The complete list of Leaders is available for download here.

“As revealed in the Incisiv report, digital is now the front door of the retail store and is critical to profitability,” said Jeff Bradbury, senior marketing director at Hughes. “It’s not just about e-commerce, but digital must be part of the entire customer journey, especially in the store, where the brand experience comes to life.”

Click here to download the full results of Incisiv’s 2021 Apparel Digital Maturity Benchmark Report.

Survey methodology

Incisiv’s 2021 Apparel Digital Maturity Benchmark Report is based on insights from its proprietary digital maturity benchmarking methodology. The information covers 104 retailers, 180 digital capabilities and five segments of the apparel retail industry. The report assessed measurable attributes in the areas of search and discovery, online ordering, fulfillment and engagement, and customer experience. Attributes are categorized as table stakes or differentiated based on their impact on numerical KPIs such as average order value (AOV) and conversion.

About Incisiv

Incisiv is a next-generation industry insights company that helps retailers and brands navigate digital disruption in their industry. Incisiv gives consumer executives responsible for digital transformation a trusted platform to share and learn in a non-competitive setting, as well as the tools to improve digital maturity, impact, and profitability. More information is available at https://www.incisiv.com.

About Hughes Network Systems

Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES), an innovator in satellite and multi-transport technologies and networks for 50 years, provides broadband equipment and services; managed services featuring software-defined intelligent networks; and end-to-end network operation for millions of consumers, businesses, governments and communities around the world. Hughes’ flagship Internet service, HughesNet®, connects more than 1.5 million subscribers across the Americas, and the Hughes JUPITER™ system powers Internet access for tens of millions more around the world. Hughes supplies more than half of the global satellite terminal market to major satellite operators, inflight service providers, mobile network operators and military customers. A managed network service provider, Hughes supports nearly 500,000 enterprise sites with its HughesON™ portfolio of wired and wireless solutions. Based in Germantown, Maryland, USA, Hughes is owned by EchoStar. To learn more, visit www.hughes.com or follow HughesConnects on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Echo Star

EchoStar Corporation (NASDAQ: SATS) is a leading global provider of satellite communications solutions. Headquartered in Englewood, Colorado, and operating globally, EchoStar is a pioneer in secure communications technologies through its Hughes Network Systems and EchoStar Satellite Services business segments. For more information, visit www.echostar.com. Follow @EchoStar on Twitter.

©2022 Hughes Network Systems, LLC, an EchoStar company. Hughes and HughesNet are registered trademarks and JUPITER is a trademark of Hughes Network Systems, LLC.


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