The E-Commerce market was estimated to be over nine trillion United States dollars, and it is expected to grow by slightly over fourteen percent from 2020 to 2027. Internet penetration has grown continuously over the years because of smartphones, which is expected to increase the exposure of online shopping for consumers. (Grandview Research) Smartphones are thus expected to propel the industry’s market growth. Additionally, E-Commerce offers consumers and organizations less expenditure in terms of expenditure and communication to reach the target audience, and hence businesses achieve the necessary exposure needed (Grandview Research). Online marketing tools like Google and Facebook Ads have also propelled the sector because of the popularity of these social media applications that help drive the market to higher growth. The Covid 19 pandemic also drove clients towards E-Commerce, especially after shops were closed (Grandview Research). Data on the market’s performance showed that revenue from the E-Commerce business increased by thirty percent, and orders increased by fifty-four percent in January 2021.
E-Commerce has a competitive advantage. It allows businesses to operate globally because it will enable companies to reach many countries and sell their products (Adiguzel). It also provides businesses with avenues to work better suppliers and good partners, skilled employees, and offers a low-cost financial resource (Adiguzel). Another advantage is that E-Commerce allows companies to provide after-sales support to increase loyalty and consumer satisfaction. Lastly, it helps consumers identify and respond to the demands and needs of consumers effectively and quickly. Web content is also important in gaining a competitive advantage. This is vital because the internet offers companies opportunities to display content on the internet or website at a lower cost (Adiguzel). Companies can therefore manage the contents effectively to gain value. The other competitive advantage is expertise. This is because the internet offers a learning experience that helps acquire information and thus improves one’s knowledge, thus giving a business a competitive edge.
Online Women’s Clothing Line
Women’s clothing is among the goods sold online on various E-Commerce platforms. This analysis will therefore focus on this sector. The target market for the business is women within the United States. The primary target is those between twenty to thirty-four and in need of trendy clothes but at favorable prices. Women within this age group are trendy and up to date and view shopping as a way of treating themselves and as a way of dealing with their emotional distress. They are the main target because they shop frequently and are more concerned with fashion trends, and are always inspired by key personalities in their dressing decisions. The other women who will be targeted are those between thirty-five to forty-five from diverse backgrounds. Lastly are those between the ages of fifteen to nineteen. They are influenced by celebrities and only buy one item because they are mostly students.
Industry Growth Rate
Data from IBISWorld shows that online women’s clothing sales went up by slightly over two percent, which attributes to the closure of brick-and-mortar retailers due to the pandemic. Additionally, the market size of this industry grew faster compared to the overall growth of the economy(IBIS World). The industry’s market size in terms of revenue is estimated to be over thirty-nine million dollars in 2022, and it is projected to grow by 5.5% in 2022 and thus presents an opportunity to venture into this marketing (IBIS World). Therefore, this business venture will seek to gain a market share in this business. This is most important because consumers lack free time, and people are most likely to shop online, thus presenting a potential available opportunity in the industry.
Types of Consumers
The type of consumer will be B2C. This is because the company will be starting and thus have goods on a limited scale. Additionally, the business will focus on the consumption habits of the target group to initiate sales (Rėklaitis and Pilelienė 76). The company will thus seek to build an emotional connection with its target audience to alleviate their frustrations. The business also aims to build a relationship with its customers, focusing on B2C. With this type of engagement, the customers can easily communicate their needs to the business and build a relationship with the consumers. According to Rėklaitis and Pilelienė (76), the most significant aspect a company considers before choosing their target market is the way of communication; thus, this was an important aspect in selecting the type of consumer the business will be targeting.
There are various current and future trends in this industry, including personalization on the online platform for user experience. This also includes the visuals used to present products on the online platform. (Adiguzel) This can be personalized to reflect the user’s buying history or what they are browsing. The industry has also adopted personalization for those who take advantage of promotions shown during checkout. Another trend is technological advancement in the sector. Technological advances like online sizing and fitting rooms are now being used in ensuring consumers select the correct clothing and reduce returns on apparel. (Adiguzel) Lastly, the stock on demand has mostly been considered because of the coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, companies in the industry have avoided restocking and are now ordering items upon demand.
Analysis of the Competitive Environment
The Online Women’s clothing line in the United States is dominated by Amazon Inc, Nordstorm Inc, Kohl’s Corporation, Gap Inc, and Macy Inc. These companies hold the industry’s largest market share (IBISWorld). The industry also faces competition from clothing retailers in brick-and-mortar stores with an online presence (IBISWorld). The sector is therefore affected by high competition. This is thus posed as a threat to the business.
The competitive strategy that the venture will engage in is Ease of use. This will ensure seamless navigation and usability; thus, the company will put in place a mechanism to differentiate users who have an intention to buy and those who are browsing. Another strategy will be to provide high-quality products that are real (Adiguzel). Focusing on unique content is another competitive advantage that the business will use. This will be done by building the business content with what the consumers are interested in and their value from purchasing from our products. Lastly, personalizing their experience on the platform will make it easy to navigate and purchase the products.
Industry Benchmark Standards
The key benchmarking standards in the industry include customer acquisition; thus, companies consider the number of new customers who visited their website and made a purchase; another factor to consider is the abandoned carts when purchasing the company’s goods and by which regions. This will help the company benchmark as per the industry standards.
The substitute for the services being provided by the company is brick and mortar retail stores that are over twenty-nine thousand in the United States (IBISWorld). Most of them also have an online presence hence an advantage. However, this is not a major threat because of technological advancement and many people embracing technology, which eases buying clothes compared to brick-and-mortar stores.
Barriers to Entry
The major barrier is the industry’s dominance by major stakeholders like Amazon. Thus, a new entrant in the business has to develop ways of attracting buyers to their website and compete effectively with them (IBISWorld). Another factor is attracting customers. In E-Commerce, businesses companies have to find ways of attracting and retaining customers while not suffering from losses.
The major threats facing the industry are the principle of protecting the privacy of citizens, fostering or preserving competition within the digital space, and adherence to the free flow of information (Fefer et al. ). This has therefore led to cross-cutting policies on cyber security and privacy. This is an opportunity for the organization to develop and ensure no cases of infringement of client’s privacy and thus gain an advantage.
The E-Commerce business is picking up across the globe due to the internet’s penetration and the ease of accessing the internet via movie phones. This business venture thus seeks to infiltrate the market by introducing a women’s clothing line. Therefore, this paper analyzes the industry by looking at the industry overview, its growth rate, market trends, and the competitive environment.
Adiguzel, Z. “Examination-of-Effects-of-Competitive-Strategies-on-the-E-Commerce-Companies-in-Terms-of-Achieving-Sustainable-Competitive-Advantage.” ResearchGate, Sept. 2019.
Fefer, Rachel, et al. Digital Trade and U.S. Trade Policy. Scotts Valley: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform, 2021. https://sgp.fas.org/crs/misc/R44565.pdf. Accessed 9 Feb. 2022.
Grandview Research. E-commerce Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Model Type (B2B, B2C), By Region (North America, Europe, APAC, Latin America, Middle East & Africa), And Segment Forecasts, 2020 – 2027. Grandview Research, 2020.
IBISWorld. “Industry Market Research, Reports, and Statistics.” IBISWorld – Industry Market Research, Reports, & Statistics, 26 May 2021, www.ibisworld.com/united-states/market-research-reports/online-womens-clothing-sales-industry/. Accessed 9 Feb. 2022.
Rėklaitis, Kęstutis, and Lina Pilelienė. “Principle Differences between B2B and B2C Marketing Communication Processes.” Management of Organizations: Systematic Research, vol. 81, no. 1, 2019, pp. 73-86.