Amazon’s accelerating growth is cause for concern at clothing competitors, says GlobalData

Amazon’s recent results show that it achieved its highest UK revenue growth of 20.7% in the past five years in 2019, which is worrying news for many UK retailers that are struggling to drive growth in the challenging trading environment, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

The company’s latest report, ‘Online pureplays in UK Clothing & Footwear 2019-2024’, reveals that Amazon is the second biggest online pureplay in clothing and footwear with a 4.8% share of the online clothing and footwear market – following leader ASOS at 6.6%. Amazon has a much higher share of menswear spend, forecast to account for 13.8% of online menswear expenditure in 2019, versus 4.1% of womenswear, capitalising on the more limited choice of male-focused online pureplays in the UK.

Online pureplays are set to drive spend in the UK online clothing and footwear market, with their share of the online clothing and footwear market forecast to increase from 35.7% in 2019 to 42.5% in 2024, driven by significant growth of the hugely dominant duo: ASOS and Amazon. The market will also be boosted by a number of smaller retailers such as Gymshark, SilkFred and Sosandar, proving that minor retailers can gain market share to compete with top brands if they have a strong brand identity and product proposition that resonates with shoppers. 

Emily Salter, Retail Analyst at GlobalData, commented: “Other online pureplays are best positioned to compete with Amazon as online retailers are nimble, allowing for fast adaptation to changing consumer shopping habits and fashion trends. Key players in the market such as ASOS and boohoo.com are often ahead of the curve in terms of introducing new features such as ‘buy now, pay later’ options and new technologies to improve the shopper experience, such as ASOS’ augmented ‘See my fit’ tool. Online pureplays are constantly raising consumer expectations of shopping online, and multichannel clothing and footwear retailers, such as Topshop and Marks & Spencer, are lagging behind.

“There is still the opportunity for Amazon to grow its market share further if it improves its shopping experience for clothing and footwear, as it is not viewed as an inspirational destination for fashionable clothing purchases due to its clunky interface that is suited to purchasing the practical items it is known for. To compete with Amazon in a highly competitive market, other retailers need to find new ways to drive repeat purchases with some form of loyalty scheme – delivery saver schemes alone are not sufficient as they are now widely available at low prices.”

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