15 Consumer Shopping Stats Shaping the Wholesale Business

As consumer shopping preferences, habits and tastes evolve, so does the fashion industry- at an ever-rapid pace. In lieu of taking on every new change and challenge as a brand, collaborate with your wholesale partners to ensure shoppers have access to their every desire.

1. Consumers Crave Convenience

85% of shoppers say they shop locally in brick-and-mortar stores for convenience. How many wholly-owned doors do you own as a brand? One of the top reasons wholesale continues to be an excellent driver of business, is that the footprints of retailer partners allow you to expand your distribution points significantly in an incredibly short period of time. What’s more, leveraging the brick-and-mortar stores of wholesale clients also equates to incredible savings as you reduce the number of wholly-owned stores required for growth.

2. Most Sales Still Occur Offline

For fashion retail sales, over 70% of purchases continue to take place offline.

“I felt I needed the support of retailers to get in front of the consumer. I strongly believe that retailers are the best way to get your product and brand out there, especially if you have a foundational, replenishing business product such as pants.”

Alvin Valley, Founder, Alvin Valley

3. Brick-and-Mortar Will Prevail

Expanding your brand through physical touchpoints remains a priority- through 2020 and beyond. According to a Forbes article on the fallacy of e-commerce, 90% of North American retail sales take place in stores, a number projected to remain over 80%- even through 2023.

4. Consumers Desire Tactile Experiences

49% of consumers prefer shopping in stores in lieu of online because they aren’t able to touch and try on products. While your wholesale accounts may have both digital and brick-and-mortar stores, it’s important to leverage the power of your partners’ physical networks. Wholesale allows you to introduce your products and brand to domestic and international consumers who prefer to shop in stores.

5. Neighborhood Stores Improve Returns

Retailers are increasingly focused on opening stores catering to specific neighborhoods and local tastes. The local returns process is also often more convenient for consumers, though the ability to interact with goods prior to purchase subsequently reduces the odds for making a return. In-store purchases have a 16% return rate, while digital purchases tout 25%.

6. Online Reviews, Friends and Social Media Are Top Sources for Product Awareness

After discovering products through websites, shops and digital ads, consumers typically discover items via online reviews (15%), their networks of friends (15% from conversations, 12% from seeing them) and social media (13%). Retailers have a role to play in every one of these touchpoints. Leverage the vast networks of established retailers, their advertising reach, SEO strength and brand awareness via wholesale.

7. Consumers Seek Easy Delivery and Returns Policies Online

After price, the most important considerations for closing an online sale are delivery options and easy returns. Larger and/or long-established retailers are often better equipped to offer consumers the best and most diverse delivery options and inexpensive or free, simple returns.

8. Consumers Have More Trust for Omnichannel Brands

61% of consumers prefer to shop with omnichannel brands, in lieu of their digital-only counterparts. Look to wholesale partners to give you an extra layer of credibility in the eyes of consumers.

9. Shoppers Want to Be Loyal

66% of shoppers are more likely to shop with retailers and brands with loyalty programs. It doesn’t always make sense for a brand to launch a loyalty program on its own; what’s more, these programs require significant investments. Work with your wholesale partners, such as omnichannel department stores, to see this need through fruition.

“Now, as we get into a better place with our production and with our stock, it means we can actually serve our retail partners a lot better — that, in turn, is better for the consumers. We’re a brand first, not a retailer. So we like our retail partners having a good share of the business, because we think it’s probably what’s in the best interest of the consumer — to allow them the right accessibility to buy from their preferred partners, if they’re in loyalty programs, for example.”

Nicola Kilner, CEO & Co-Founder, Deciem

10. Gen Y, Gen Z and Millennials Are Especially Loyal

The aforementioned statistic on how likely consumers are to support companies with loyalty programs (66%), spikes to 68% for Gen Y and 72% for Millennials and Gen Z.

11. Consumers Want Instant Gratification

Google research shows nearly 80% of consumers look to brick-and-mortar stores for immediate desires or needs.

12. Experiences Elevate Shopping

67% of consumers will pay more money for an experience they enjoy. Where fashion is concerned, in-person experiences continue to play a crucial role in capturing hearts, minds and market share. Coordinate with your wholesale partners to offer in-store experiences shoppers won’t soon forget.

13. Luxury Consumers Love Real-Life Touchpoints

Online sales are responsible for a mere 13% of luxury sales in fashion. If you’re in luxury, you must maintain a proper balance of footprints in key markets for success.

“The trunk show platform performed much better. I was able to get more creative and do things that were not within my scope online. There’s no better feeling than having customers spend $10,000 a pop and feeling like they were in an elevated experience.”Alvin Valley

14. Skincare Is on the Rise

Products shoppers prefer to try in person – beauty, wellness and skincare – are all on the rise. In fact, skincare is growing quicker than cosmetics and was the fastest-growing prestige beauty category in 2017 (45% of beauty revenue).

15. Consumers Expect Frequent Newness

Leverage your wholesale business to keep up with the ever-increasing demand for newness. Gen-Z and Millennials are the key players behind this trend, expecting in-season drops, limited-edition products, capsule collections and other special offerings throughout the year. These cohorts are projected to account for 45% of luxury sales by 2025.

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