How to be successful with fashion in German eCommerce

22 september 2022

For the current study “eCommerce Experience Report Fashion”, our partner and eCommerce specialist creativestyle took a closer look at the 20 biggest online retailers in the fashion sector in Germany. On the basis of 104 test criteria, they wanted to find out how the user experience is going in the biggest shops in the fashion industry. Thus, creativestyle provides the first structured inventory of its kind that covers all phases: Starting with the shop visit with product presentation and selection, through the order, to delivery and return of the goods.

In the following, we present the most important results of the study and show you why the customer experience in eCommerce is particularly important for online stores in the fashion industry – and what role payments play in this.

E-Commerce Experience Report: for online shops

Shopping goes digital – online retail is booming. Reason enough for onlineshops to do their homework. creativestyle has therefore asked itself where the best starting points are. What are the essentials of online retailing in Germany? Where are the benchmarks?

Each issue is dedicated to online shops in one industry and thoroughly analyzed. “The aim of this analysis is to objectively report how online retail and the user experience are doing – exemplified by the 20 largest providers in a given industry,” explains creativestyle founder and CEO Jaromir Fojcik. “Because it is primarily the positive examples that set the bar. They show what is effectively possible - and what all other online shops should measure themselves against.” Following the first edition, which was dedicated to the furniture market at the beginning of 2022, the 20 most influential retailers in the fashion industry were surveyed for the second edition, which has just been published.

In order to be able to compare the results in the best possible way, only shops with a wide fashion range were analyzed: AboutYou, Asos, Best Secret, Bonprix, Breuninger, C&A, Engelhorn, Esprit, H&M, Happy Size, Land’s End, Peek & Cloppenburg, Peter Hahn, S.Oliver, Shein, Tommy Hilfiger, Walbusch, Witt, Zalando and Zara. The two major generalists, Amazon and Otto, were not included because their offer is not limited to fashion and apparel. For a complete picture, the retailers were subjected to a total of 104 test criteria. The result is 2065 Excel data sets, summarized on 97 pages, with many appealing infocharts and examples directly from the shops stores.

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What is customer experience in online retail?

When a customer goes into a store, he or she is in a shopping situation in which many aspects come together – premises, furnishing style, product presentation, atmosphere (lighting, music) and, above all, personal contact and interaction with the customer. All these details influence the perception of a brand – and represent the customer experience, namely the sum of all experiences that a customer has with a company.

But what does that look like in the online world, where people generally shop from home on their own couch? Ultimately, there is no difference here. Retailers should also offer their customers the same service online, which leads to the desired product being purchased in the end and the customer being satisfied.

That’s why creativestyle asked the following questions, among others, in its report:

  • How appealing and clearly structured is the shop?
  • How are the products presented?
  • Is all important information available and easy to find?
  • How is the ordering process designed?
  • What payment methods are available?
  • What does the returns process look like?
  • How good is customer service?
  • How is the topic of sustainability implemented?
  • How innovative is the shop? For example, are there configurators or similar?

The answers can then be used to define how good (or less good) the customer experience is in the respective online shop.

Payment – don’t make any mistakes on the last mile

Payments play a crucial role in the checkout, because cart abandonment can still occur frequently in this last step. The lack of a preferred payment option is one of the main reasons for purchase abandonment during the payment process. That’s why we helped our partner creativestyle with evaluation and recommendations on payment methods in the report, asking ourselves the following questions in particular: What is the fashion industry in Germany like? Are the most common payment methods offered?

When it comes to the number of payment methods, fashion retailers are well positioned – above all invoice payments and PayPal are available across the board as important payment methods. A rather negative surprise: The majority of the fashion retailers surveyed do not offer express payment methods. Express checkouts, however, are a decisive competitive advantage, especially for (young) mobile users, and a real win-win in terms of implementation.

Mollie recommends: Fashion shoppers buy impulsively! An express checkout immensely increases the chances of short-tempered shoppers. However, the button should not yet be placed directly on the product detail page, as in this case customers will buy directly instead of adding more items to the shopping cart.

You can download the complete eCommerce Experience Report with many other exciting insights for free at www.experience.report.

About creativestyle

creativestyle is one of the leading full-service ecommerce agencies in Germany. Founded in 2001, it has been supporting medium-sized and large retailers in their digital growth in the B2B and B2C sectors for more than 20 years with strategic consulting and extensive technical expertise. The focus of their work is always the end customer’s experience, from the first site visit to a smooth fulfilment process. With 85 e-commerce enthusiasts in four locations in Germany and Poland, creativestyle offers an unmatched combination of top expertise and attractive pricing. Since 2022, creativestyle has been part of the international Smile Group. The agency’s clients include NKD, Bergzeit, Hallhuber, Miele and CEWE Fotobuch. // www.creativestyle.de