7 Shopping Trends E-Commerce Retailers Need to Leverage This Spring
Spring is my favorite time of the year. The longer days, the flowers, the warm, sunny mornings. I have more energy and desire to "refresh" my wardrobe and surroundings. I’ve not done the analysis, but I’m pretty confident that there’s a correlation between spring coming and my spending habits increasing! Springtime also presents brands with an important opportunity to reconnect with customers as they begin thinking about revitalizing their lives for the new season. From spring cleaning to gardening to prom, these are the biggest trends in springtime shopping that brands should lean into to help ensure a profitable season:
1. Getting the House in Order
Springtime means spring cleaning — closets, curtains and windows included. Suddenly, home repairs and maintenance projects become more of a priority, leading to surges in do-it-yourself (DIY) spending. Last year, accelerated by the pandemic, home improvement sales in the United States totaled more than $113 billion from March through June. Global home improvement sales growth is expected to continue at a rate of about 6.4 percent this year, and e-commerce home improvement sales growth will exceed that of brick-and-mortar growth by a six to one ratio. With these insights in mind, e-commerce retailers that are well-stocked with DIY items and provide good customer experiences will be in a solid position to fuel sales growth this spring.
Closely related to the spring cleaning trend is the reCommerce trend. ReCommerce, or reverse commerce, involves renting, reselling or buying at a discount previously owned merchandise either online or in brick-and-mortar stores. In the U.S., the secondhand apparel market is expected to grow to $51 billion in 2023. Related to this is the increase in rentals, particularly subscription rentals among millennial and Gen Z shoppers. Notably, about half of the reCommerce sales worldwide are in the fashion and accessories segments. In fact, resale apparel revenues are growing 24 times faster than retail apparel sales. E-commerce sites that can adapt to offer some resale or rental items will be much more likely to be able capitalize on this trend.
3. Warm Weather Clothes
Springtime means shoppers are thinking about what they’re going to wear in the warm weather. Dresses become a hot-ticket item, especially in April and May as people prepare for weddings, proms and graduations. Bathing suit shopping begins as well, with sales of swimwear expected to grow globally at a compound annual growth rate of 6.6 percent through 2023. And let’s not forget athleisure sales, a market that continues to experience steady growth as shoppers prioritize comfort, especially when working from home. As celebrities like Beyonce and Rihanna lead a trend toward luxury athleisure wear, it will be important to continue paying attention to how shoppers respond. E-commerce retailers refreshing their marketing strategies for spring should definitely keep dresses, swimwear and athleisure wear in mind, offering promotions and discounts where appropriate.
4. Big Shopping Holidays
Springtime holidays can yield big sales across the board. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are among the top 10 largest shopping events in the United States, presenting an important opportunity for retailers. Jewelry, flowers and electronics are all popular gifts for Mother’s Day, while gifts related to outdoor hobbies, music and electronics are popular for Father’s Day. For both holidays, consider displaying these gift items prominently on your site. By encouraging shoppers to spend more on their mothers and fathers, brands can reap sales benefits in the process.
5. Big Shopping Moments
When the weather heats up, so does the shopping for major milestone occasions, including weddings, graduations and proms. Beginning in May, sales rise for clothing, gifts, accessories and travel-related items for weddings. Graduation also often includes travel and visits with family, as well as gifts that are as diverse as the graduate. In addition, proms will re-emerge this year after widespread cancellations last year due to the pandemic. With prom comes significant spending on tickets, meals, transportation, and of course, apparel and accessories. Affordability and budgeting are key for this audience, even if lower-income families typically spend big bucks on the event. E-commerce stores that promote relevant products for spring milestones and offer incentives to purchase will take full advantage of this season.
Lawn, garden and patio spending surges during spring break. In fact, demand typically spikes more than 60 percent for these items. Some retailers are gearing up for this by offering discounts for buying in bundles (e.g., shade gardens) to make home delivery easier. Since many family activities have been curtailed because of the pandemic, most families' recreation now takes place in their yards. Sales of outdoor furniture, grills and pool items spiked last year as the pandemic kept many at home instead of traveling. A similar trend is expected this year. Online retailers that begin now to promote garden tools, seeds, fertilizers, and outdoor furniture, cooking and recreation items will have a jump start on the season.
7. The Spring Budget Challenge
Any one of these trends can put serious stress on a shopper’s budget. Shoppers often want to indulge themselves for many of these trends in a short period of time. Although the spending is not essential, it can be frustrating to have to lay it all out up front or rack up big credit card balances. Offering a buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) solution to your payment options gives your customers additional choices in how they manage their spending. They can apply for new credit when they make their purchases or use available credit on their existing cards to pay in monthly, no-interest installments.
While spring is often associated with the color green, that green translates into major revenue opportunities for e-commerce brands. This spending surge may be even greater with the pent-up demand from canceled or postponed special occasions stemming from the pandemic. By creating an optimal shopping experience, inclusive of item selection, promotions, incentives and flexible payment options, today’s e-commerce retailers can take full advantage of these springtime shopping trends.
Melanie Vala is the chief commercial officer at Splitit, a payment method solution enabling customers to pay for purchases with an existing credit card by splitting the cost into interest and fee-free monthly payments, without additional registrations or applications.