Which fashion retailers dominate online? Cross-Border Commerce Europe figured it out in its annual European top 250. Striking: the retailers are facing a lot of heat from… consumers.
One in ten is second-hand
European fashion retailers fear consumers rather than competitors online, according to the annual ranking of Cross-Border Commerce Europe. The organisation surveyed the biggest players in fashion and beauty in the 28 EU countries, still including the UK. What is striking is that second-hand and consumer marketplaces, such as Vinted, eBay and Etsy, are particularly responsible for new growth.
In 2022, the online fashion and beauty market in Europe achieved record sales of 122 billion euros. Some 45 billion euros of that was spent by consumers outside their home country (cross-border). In fact, fashion accounts for 16.75% of all European e-commerce, while already a quarter of all fashion and beauty sales happen online.
Yet the growth is not over: by 2026, the market will grow by 18%, accounting for an expected 144 billion euros. Thanks to consumer sales, according to the report. Indeed, people spent less on fashion in 2022, but more on second-hand. Almost a sixth of online fashion sales in 2026 are expected to come from consumer platforms such as Vinted. Today, that share is 12%.
Third of all sales
Overall, almost half of all online fashion purchases happen on platforms, of which Zalando remains by far the biggest. Almost a tenth of all online fashion sales happen there. Amazon holds 8.3% of the European online fashion market, although it is not a pure fashion retailer. eBay/Etsy, Chinese Shein, Vinted, US-based StockX and Nike also feature in the top ten. Although, with a market share of almost 2%, Vinted remains a lot smaller.
However much fashion retail is fragmented in the physical world, online the concentration of power is much clearer, according to CBCommerce: together, the top ten hold more than a third of the market share for online fashion. Each has its own role in this. Nike is the leading brand manufacturer, H&M the leading retailer, Amazon the biggest pure player and EMP the leading mail-order company. Czech Notino is the leader in the beauty products category.
Finally, further analysis of the popularity of companies in specific countries reveals intriguing patterns, notes the report. “Among UK consumers, US and Chinese companies seem to be very popular. In contrast, German and French consumers have a stronger preference for European companies.” Although the report cautions against Chinese newcomers Cider and Temu, which could still make quite an impact.