The British fashion industry has always been about individuality and expression. London Fashion Week is one of the top annual events in the industry. The fashion world looks to London for innovation, pioneering new concepts, and future trends.

With an apparel market that brings in a revenue of just under 55 billion pounds, the UK fashion industry is continuously growing and evolving. And, as the UK is the European leader in B2C e-commerce turnover, this evolution is nowhere more prominent than in the UK fashion e-commerce market. Today, fashion accounts for  41.8% and is projected to increase by an average of 1.8% annually to 44.9% of the total e-commerce market in the UK by 2028.

Social media and UK fashion e-commerce

Social media offers great opportunities for the UK fashion e-commerce sector. The platforms Instagram and Tiktok are perfect for personalized ads in various formats, like photo ads, video ads, and carousel ads. These ads appear in a user’s feed, story, or explore page, and can be customized based on the audience’s online behavior. TikTok offers a range of ad formats, including in-feed ads, sponsored hashtags, and branded effects.

Facebook has become the platform for the over-35 user audience and similarly offers a range of options for personalized UK fashion e-commerce advertising. Here, referrals, recommendations, a dedicated Facebook page with regular updates for Followers, and links to the online shop offer the most benefits. Any new contender in the UK fashion e-commerce sector will require dynamic shop concepts with descriptive product texts and continuously changing content. Sellers need to connect to the consumers on a personal and emotional level, offering various payment and convenient return options.

Brexit and UK fashion e-commerce

The retail sector, especially luxury and fashion, has borne the brunt of Brexit. The Brexit deal saw the end of the VAT rebate on luxury goods, as well as a cessation of a zero-tariff and zero-quota trade for luxury goods between Britain and the EU.

Removing the VAT rebate, which allowed foreign buyers to claim back the UK’s 20% VAT on luxury purchases made in the UK has caused a major headache for UK brands and UK-based luxury brands. According to the Centre for Economics and Business Research, this has seen a huge drop in international online visitors to UK luxury brands by nearly 7.3%, resulting in a £1.8 billion loss.

The removal of tariffs has also hurt the sector, with UK brands suffering, while EU luxury sellers reap the benefits. E-commerce, and specifically UK fashion e-commerce, has had to adjust to new rules and more paperwork requirements. Tariffs and taxes have increased the prices for cross-border e-commerce transactions, making it harder for UK sellers to compete with EU sellers. The answer was obvious: UK brands had to relocate their sales operations and warehouses to the EU to remain competitive within the EU market, while most UK-based e-commerce sites now solely cater to the national UK fashion e-commerce market. The same strategy would work for non-UK brands, setting up national subsidiaries in the UK.

Insular UK fashion e-commerce

The UK fashion e-commerce market has become relatively isolated in Europe, however, we are still dealing with the Number One biggest e-commerce market. The UK fashion e-commerce sector is therefore definitely worth looking into despite the many obstacles and shortfalls Brexit has brought. Britain and the UK have not lost their sparkle internationally, and continues to draw businesses from around the world.



autor_eurotext_100Author: Eurotext Editorial Team

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