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Fast fashion retailers turn to apps, marketplaces and ‘pre-loved’, while luxury brands embrace social media ahead of London Fashion Week

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Ahead of London Fashion Week starting on Friday 18 September, data shows a distinct split between how fast fashion retailers and luxury brands are interacting with their customers via mobile.

Analysing iOS and Google Play downloads between 23 August and 5 September, mobile data company App Annie has found that many of the leading brands in the fashion apps table (see below) are either fast-fashion, or ecommerce focussed – or both. 

Sheinis listed at number one, followed by Vinted, Depop, JD Sports, ASOS, M&S, Nike,, H&M and Very. This, believes App Annie, is indicative of changing shopper habits and shows how increasingly ecommerce is shifting to mobile in the pandemic, especially for fast fashion. The inclusion of Vinted and Depop also mark out how marketplaces and the second-hand market are also becoming much more accepted business models for fashion retail.

Luxury brands, meanwhile, are focused on neither of these aspects, with brands such as Louis Vuitton and Saint Laurent  quickly leveraging alternative social media channels, such as TikTok, in the lead-up to LFW, showing how important apps have become to the luxury market and what luxury fashion means to culture and society.

Lexi Sydow, Senior Market Insights Manager at App Annie,explains: “We’ve seen a boom in ecommerce during COVID-19.  In the US and UK, total weekly sessions — a proxy for foot traffic — in shopping apps during peak weeks in the busy holiday season of Q4 2019 by as much as 25% and 15% respectively. We expect this elevated level of mobile shopping to carry into Q4 and be a dominant contributor to retail sales during the holiday season, countering the economic impact on disposable income from COVID-19 containment measures.”

She continues: “As we head into fashion week, mobile-savvy retailers with robust social media strategies stand to gain from increased mobile activity and socially-distant shopping. Vinted and Depop rank number two and number three by downloads in the UK during the two week period ending 5 September 2020. This indicates the importance of marketplaces and second-hand shopping for UK consumers — offering affordable access to high fashion, vintage, rare and secondhand items. Retailers, fintech and payment providers should prioritise features that resonate with shopping-from-home and socially-distant needs to capture customer spend and loyalty in our mobile-first world.”

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