According to new figures from The NPD Group, close to one-third (29 percent) of total online apparel buyers purchased outerwear online in the 12 months ending November 2017, up 2 percentage points over the previous year. The average consumer is spending $178 when buying outerwear online, a 3 percent increase in spending over the prior year.
The North Face, Patagonia, and Columbia are among the top performers in this e-commerce space. The North Face captured 8 percent of total online outerwear buyers, followed by Columbia with 6 percent share of buyers and Patagonia at 3 percent. Patagonia attained the highest brand loyalty among these brands, with 66 percent of Patagonia outerwear buyers’ spend on the category going towards the brand.
“Outerwear is one of the hottest categories in outdoor and sports apparel today. While there is a lot of noise in today’s apparel market, outerwear is faring positively with its assortment of looks and brands that are helping consumers to stand out from the crowd. With the internet remaining the best way to find these unique styles, an omnipresent retail strategy with a customer-centric approach is critical for continued growth,” said Matt Powell, Senior Industry Advisor, Sports, at The NPD Group.
Brands with a foundation in the catalog retail model have also performed favorably in the outerwear e-commerce space. Consumers increased their average annual spending on outerwear from Lands’ End and L.L. Bean by 10 percent and 2 percent, respectively, and also spent more per purchase.
In addition, a pricing dichotomy among well-performing brands suggests that there is not one price-point strategy for success. For example, with considerably fewer online customers and a higher price point than Columbia, Canada Goose outerwear consumers spent 14 percent more per purchase versus last year, compared to Columbia outerwear consumers who spent 2 percent more.
“Brands and retailers framing their strategies around price and promotion are setting themselves up for disappointment in today’s retail environment, as consumers are seeking a more premium differentiation. Instead, brands carving their own niche and evoking their core values consistently, in all products and messaging, will win over consumers. This presents a fundamental opportunity for both existing and emerging outerwear brands,” said Powell.
Image courtesy Direct Alpine (Treehouse PR)