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Apparel retailers experience online sales growth

April 3, 2012

The fashion apparel and accessories industry is one of the fastest growing sectors as the result of a successful transition into ecommerce

The fashion apparel and accessories industry is one of the fastest growing sectors as the result of a successful transition into ecommerce. While online sales were initially reserved to music, videos and books, fashion retailers have recently discovered that clothing brands translate well into the digital marketplace.

A study by eMarketer revealed that apparel and accessories will lead ecommerce growth through 2016. In 2012, online credit card payment processing is expected to surge 20 percent and by the end of the forecast period, the retail category is projected to represent $73 billion in online sales and account for 20 percent of all purchases.

“Online merchandising and visualization have come a long way,” said eMarketer principal analyst Jeffrey Grau. “Apparel sales have benefitted more than any other category. Apparel has become an online success due largely to easy and free returns, innovative visualization tools and the presence of customer reviews.”

To stay ahead of the trend, teen apparel companies such as American Eagle, Abercrombie & Fitch, Aeropostale and Gap have made ecommerce a top sales strategy, Forbes reports. Following a a change in leadership, American Eagle has successfully made web-based operations a top priority. The company developed three websites for its brand – American Eagle, Aerie and 77Kids – which recently reported more growth (18 percent) than its brick-and-mortar locations (10 percent), according to Investor Guide. 

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