How Americans Spend on Clothing?
SHOPPING - STATISTICS - CLOTHING
Published On: February 02, 2020
We live in precarious economic times. While the unemployment rate is at a historic low, inflation along with factors is keeping Americans from spending their hard-earned money.
A report by doxo’s 2021 United States gives an important overview of how the average American household spends their money. It showed that approximately $22,666 per year on household bills or about $1,889 per month. This amounts to roughly 20% of a household's annual spending.
But that is just a brief overview of the entire situation. When you dig deeper, there are several trends that speak volumes on how much the average American person spends on clothing. To get a clear picture, it’s first most important to understand how their spending patterns have changed when it comes to fashion.
- Shoppers Are Spending Less Percentage of their Income on Clothes
When one looks at American shopping statistics, some interesting trends are revealed. Risk management firm Deloitte spent a year analyzing government data, communicating with industry leaders, surveying around 4000 customers, and examining more than 200 billion credit card transactions through its consumer-insight division.
Their report articulates that despite everything, the spending habits of the everyday American have not changed that much. But there is one exception, the share of money spent on apparel has almost halved since 1987.
Almost across all age groups, the percentage of money spent on clothing has decreased per year. In 1987, buyers dedicated around 5% of their discretionary spending to their wardrobe. In 2017, the same number dropped to 2% But in 2021, it became 3% of Americans spending on clothes.
The comparison of how much percentage Americans spent on clothing between 1987 and 2021 becomes more interesting when you factor in the rise of eCommerce. Although it's easier to buy clothes than it was 30 years ago –people are still dedicating less of their income to fashion.
Despite the average American person's spending per year decreasing on clothes, the global eCommerce fashion market is thriving.
- Global Fashion Ecommerce Market is Expected to Grow to $872.71 Billion
Statista reported the global fashion market to be $531.25 billion in 2019 to $485.62 billion in 2020. The reduction is primarily due to the COVID-19 outbreak, which has resulted in stringent containment measures such as social distancing and remote work.
The fashion industry as a whole is expected to hit $872.71 billion by 2023.
While the internet is flooded by online retailers targeting different niches, few familiar names continue to dominate the market.
- Amazon Sells More Apparel than Any Other Website
When you think about Amazon, fashion is not the first thing that comes to your mind. Of course –the company has come a long way since it was an online book store in a garage. Still, the website isn't renowned for hosting trendy and fashionable apparel. Stores like Vilebrequin offer a discount on the most fashionable apparel you can avail yourself of using the Vilebrequin promo code.
But according to a survey of Internet Retailers, Amazon is a website where American men and women spend most on clothing.
- Most People Buy Apparel from their Smartphones
Recent American online shopping statistics reveal another great piece of information. Not only does mobile provide the most traffic to fashion sites (76%) but most sales (66%) –higher than the overall average.
The population under the age of 34 in both the United States and the United Kingdom spend on clothing through their smartphones.
But there are a number of mobile shops in it for the experience. Ragtrader reports 67% of shoppers use their smartphones to window shop for fun. 77% of these online window shoppers make impulse buys.
The growth of mobile shopping is quite extraordinary. Mobile dominates 73% of all eCommerce sales in 2021.
Mobile has become such a force that it drove the majority of the traffic on cyber week 2021 (November 25-29). Most of the transactions during this period have also happened through cell phones.
On a similar note, the orders on Thanksgiving coming through mobile as a whole were up by 11.5% this year.
Despite the growing influence of fashion eCommerce, believe it or not, there is a contingent of shoppers that have never bought clothes online.
- 14.9% of US buyers Don’t Buy Clothes Online
While ordering clothes with a few clicks is a hip thing to do for many, it’s not how many Americans like their money spent on clothing. As per Internet Retailer, 14.9% of Americans don’t spend on clothes online as opposed to 6.4% who don’t buy from brick and mortar stores.
Meanwhile, 25% of the most fashion-lovers get their fix from an online retailer at least once per month. The majority of Americans (30.5%), however, do online orders once or twice a week.
Interestingly, 34% of shoppers pay a visit to their favorite stores once or twice a year. Comparatively, 36.1% buy offline every 2-3 months.
One can assume that what is the major reason each customer prefers in-store? This is because they do not trust online retailers. These customers prefer to try on the apparel themselves before spending any money. These Americans spend much more on clothing inside stores rather than in front of a Laptop screen.
It’s interesting to note this in light of the fact that overall trends favor online commerce over brick and mortar. For instance, the online sales grew on Black Friday 2021 for eCommerce sites but fell for conventional retail stores.
It would also be fair to point out that a Desktop computer is the most preferable option for many shoppers. When you look at the conversion rates during the shopping season, the desktop has a clear lead over other devices.
But any analysis on American spending statistics would be incomplete without highlighting an important factor–the generation gap.
- Millennials Make Twice As Many Fashion Purchases Online than Boomers
How much the average American spends on fashion is greatly influenced by their age group. Although Millennials are accused of ‘killing’ everything under the sun, they’ve taken a liking to online fashion stores.
But what really constitutes a Millennial? Well, Millennials are the generation sandwiched between Generation X and Generation Z.
- Baby Boomers are born between 1946-1964
- Generation X is middle of 1965-1980
- Millennials or Generation Y are born between 1981-1996
- Generation Z are born between 1997-2015
Studies show 84% of Baby Boomers prefer brick and mortar stores while getting clothes. Among other causes, the hassle of returning faulty items is cited as the common reason why boomers are not spending on clothing on sites like Amazon.
But according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, hip Millennials love ordering their apparel from the internet. The generation spends twice as many as boomers on online clothing but they spend less per transaction.
It’s interesting to note that the amount Americans spend on clothing per transaction increases with age.
- $101 for Millennials
- $160 for Generation X
- $173 for Boomers
Generation X spends most on clothing per year at $2,367. This makes the average spending cost on clothing per month around $192 for this generation. Millennials follow Zoomers with $1,950 per year and finally –Boomers spent the least amount at $1,390.
A study conducted by Tinuiti concludes that Millennials and Gen Z –who have the shopping power of over $200 billion–, dominate when it comes to buying online. 56% of Millennials and 58% of Gen Z prefer buying from the internet while the latter get items directly from the brand’s website.
Millennials are also big into saving money. This is perhaps the reason why the overwhelming majority of them planned on shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2019.
While age is a significant influence on a person’s online habits, gender plays an important role too. Average women spend much more on clothing than men per month and it seems this trend will continue well into the future.
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- Men Shop More Frequently Online But Buy Fewer Clothes
A study from Business Insider Intelligence shows that men shop online on a more frequent basis than women. According to the report, In America, 49% of men from ages 18 to 31 would prefer to ‘buy everything online. Only 33% of women share the same sentiment with many still preferring the classical in-store approach.
How much do Americans spend on fashion cuts through the generations? 86% of male teens are reported to have shopped online compared to 76% of teen girls.
But things get a bit interesting when you compare American spending habits statistics based on gender.
American women’s money spending habits are almost unsurprising. Clothes make up 40% of the products women order online. Books, groceries, and medicine are other items they get from the web. Meanwhile, men order more heavy-duty items such as furniture and electronic equipment. The amount men spend on apparel failed to register in this particular study.
So how much does the average American man spend on clothes per month? Well, CreditDonkey estimates that a person spends $161 per month with an average woman spending 76% more than men per year on clothes.
Technology plays a major role in how American men’s money spending habits and women’s choice of fashion is determined. And this is why it’s important to understand the significance of the tools that assist online shoppers.
- Chatbots Continue to be Important for Online Shoppers
Throughout 2018-19, 60% of customers used chatbots to have their queries answered. Interestingly, Millennials prefer chatbots to other methods of customer support.
The speed and efficiency of chatbots are said to be the main reasons behind their rise. Whilst speaking to service agents, it hardly takes about 10 minutes before the patience of the customers wears out. In stark contrast, a chatbot is able to reply within a few seconds meaning that customers don’t have to wait for information.
Voice assistants are also playing an important role in online retail. 51% of searches on Google are made via voice assistants. This year, its estimated voice searches will soar to 58%.
One can take away many important insights by analyzing the average amount spent on clothing per year per person. The apparel industry is clearly being powered by online retail but there are many social factors at play as well. Age, gender, and cultural events have a say in how much people do spend money on their clothes. By analyzing how Americans spend on clothing–retailers can look for ways to precisely target their potential customers.